In high school a classic cheer goes, “we’ve got spirit, yes we do, we’ve got spirit, how ‘bout you?” More and more celebrities also are cheering the launch of their own boozy spirit brands. These include Kendall Jenner and her 818 Tequila, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and his Teremana Tequila, Matthew McConaughey and his Wild Turkey Longbranch Bourbon and Dan Aykroyd and his sugar-free vodka, Crystal Head Vodka.
NFL Hall of Fame Quarterback and Broadcaster Terry Bradshaw has proven that his four Super Bowl championships aren’t the only game he’s won. With distilling expertise from Green River Distillery in Owensboro, Ky., and crafted in the heart of Kentucky Bourbon Country, Bradshaw’s namesake Bradshaw Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is performing well and now is being distributed in Canada.
The whiskey is aged in new American oak barrels for a minimum of two years before being bottled at 51.9% (103.8 proof), a nod to Bradshaw’s career passer completion percentage in the NFL. Bradshaw Bourbon uses a mash bill of 70% corn, 21% rye, and 9% malted barley. It earned a rating of 91 from Wine Enthusiast.
Celebrities also are shining a light on their brand through humorous videos advertising their alcohol brands. None are funnier than Ryan Reynolds and his Aviation American Gin, which he acquired in 2018. As he humorously makes the “Vasectomy” cocktail, the “mother of all cocktails” last Father’s Day, he puts ice in a tall glass, spilling several cubes on the counter, while telling consumers to fill a tall glass with ice “the way children fill our lives with so much joy.” Next, put in 1-ounce of cranberry juice, “sweet, just like their little smiles.” After spraying tonic water all over in the first take, Reynolds instructs fans to add one-and-a-half ounces of Aviation Gin — “the most refreshing cocktail in the world for the most refreshing job in the world ― Dad.”
Some celebrities like Sean “Diddy” Combs, founder of CÎROC Ultra-Premium Vodka, are using their celebrity status for the greater good — to “amplify true stories” of Black and Brown Americans through the ongoing community-centric platform, hashtag #CIROCStands. In February, in celebration of Black Excellence Month, the campaign headed to Chicago where it teamed with former Chicago Bulls player Joakim Noah and media personality Angela Yee to highlight the bold and ambitious spirit of Chi-town heroes:
- Ian Gonzalez of Last Lap Cornerstore. The Southside native and resident owns Last Lap Cornerstore, the first and only Black and LatinX-owned running store on the South Side that's quickly become a fixture in the community.
- Danielle Mullen of Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery. The mastermind behind Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery, Chicago’s largest Black-woman-owned bookstore and gallery.
- Midge Welch of Issues Barber and Beauty Salon. Welch grew up around the corner from the salon she now proudly owns in the South Loop, which serves up culture, community and cuts.
- Darris Kelly and Sabrian Sledge of Flee Club Chicago. The best friends duo own Flee Club, a sneaker and fashion boutique located in the heart of Chicago that specializes in rare shoes and apparel.