Celebrity-backed products have seemingly reached their peak as more and more famous faces slap their name onto nearly everything from skincare to clothing lines — and now a recent surprising rise in liquor.
Celebrity-owned alcohol and collaborations have been circulating around for a decent amount of time, popping up for a brief period every few years or so only to die down and sit on a shelf alongside thousands of other pretty bottles.
What separates them from the competition and the distillers who dedicate their lives to perfecting a smooth finish is, for the most part, that alcohol is just a side hustle for celebrities. It is another way for celebrities to expand their empire and leverage their fame outside the world of movies, music, television shows and more.
The number of celebrity-owned brands of alcohol is considerably extensive, more specifically the number of different wines that exist — someone please explain why there are so many celebrity rosés on the market! In a last-minute effort to keep up with the times, Post Malone, the uncrowned king of Bud Light, came out with his own rosé called Maison No. 9. The wine itself isn’t anything exceptional, the bottle, however, is gorgeous which kind of sums up what celebrity alcohol entails.
In an inoffensive way, you’re spending the extra money you could use toward an actual decent, higher quality rosé made by someone who actually has a passion for distilling, but instead you pay up for the brand association and/or because it “looks cool.”
That being said, the new celebrity rosé appears to be tequila. People are hopping on some sort of tequila bandwagon, which can most likely be credited to both the massive success and popularity of Casamigos. Casamigos, if you don’t already know, is owned by George Clooney and Rande Gerber (husband to Cindy Crawford and father to Kaia Gerber) and it launched back in 2013.
But what is so unique about Casamigos is that its founders did not birth the idea out of the desperate need for money. They’re long time friends who even have houses next to each other in Mexico — thus explaining the name Casamigos, which means “house of friends.”
Their time spent down in Mexico together resulted in the quest to find the perfect tequila, more importantly, one the pair could drink all day without being hungover the next morning.
They put their money — and livers — to good use, taking two years to test tequilas in order to craft their own burn-free tequila. Because of all the work that goes into the production of Casamigos and its humble rise to fame, it’s only fitting they bottle things up in a smooth, minimalistic way, finished off with their signatures on the front label so you know it has their seal of approval.
What adds to the success is the public is well aware the founders’ drink their own product. Having initially crafted it for themselves, they know it is up to their standards, so it is able to function in a way that boosts the consumer-purchasing confidence.
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Celebrity-owned alcohol is able to cover arguably one of the hardest components of launching any sort of product — the marketing aspect.
Casamigos started off only making small batches with Clooney and Gerber making sure to crack open the first bottle of every batch to taste test. They expanded outside the realm of friends and families two years later after being forced by their master distiller to get a license. The license made their tequila accessible for everyone to enjoy and also became one of the fastest-growing tequila brands out there.
Because of networking, fan bases and the overall publicity generated around the release of anything associated with a star, buzz is well-established before the initial debut. That is what happened with Elon Musk and his Tesla-inspired tequila. It started out as an April Fool’s joke back in 2018 when Musk tweeted something along the lines of “Teslaquila,” but after its launch this past November, it sold out within a matter of days.
Originally priced at $250, it comes in an impressive, hand-blown glass lightning bolt bottle, equipped with its own stand and everything, so no wonder its resale value soars at four times what it was retailed for. Celebrities have the flexibility and liquidity to pour into making — or better stated as branding — their own liquor which may ultimately flop in the end.
Take the numerous other celebrities with their own tequilas you may or may not have even heard of before. For starters, you have Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who constantly posts about his tequila, Mana, on his Instagram, which is yet another perk of owning your own liquor — the free social media endorsement.
Other celebrities that have tapped into the agave-distilling world include the following — Pitbull, Rita Ora, Nick Jonas, E-40, Adam Levine and Sammy Hagar (who came out with a mezcal-tequila blended liquor), AC/DC, Toby Keith’s infamous worm mezcal, Justin Timberlake, P Diddy (who two-timed and did a stint with Ciroc also), Carlos Santana, Michael Jordan, The Chainsmokers, and even Breaking Bad co-stars Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston, who came out with a watered-down version of Casamigos with their brand of mezcal, Dos Hombres.
The icing on the cake is Kendall Jenner and possibly Kylie too, as the duo is rumored to be coming out with their own tequila. This isn’t surprising and is rather fitting to see the Kardashian/Jenner clan try their hand at expanding into tequila territory after constantly doting around Don Julio 1942.
This also comes following Travis Scott’s release of his own spiked seltzer, Cacti. If you’ll notice in the picture Kendall posted two weeks ago on vacation, there is a bottle to the right with the number 818 written on its label, which just so happens to be the area code for Calabasas.
There is not a whole lot of praise for celebrity alcohol. It usually just ends up being more about appearance than actual craftsmanship. So next time you’re shopping around your local liquor store, check to see if they have any alcohol owned by celebrities and try some for yourself to see if it’s worth the hype.
Even if it ends up falling short of your expectations, it’s a conversation starter and you’ll be sure to impress your guests!