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Best celebrity alcohol brands to try in 2022

Fancy drinks are the new fragrances when it comes to celeb side-hustles, and more stars are launching their own booze - but how do they measure up? Abha Shah dives in

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818 Tequila Blanco
By @brimfulofashah
23 September 2022
W

hen it comes to celebrity side-hustles, alcohol is very much the new fragrance.

It can’t have escaped your attention; it feels as though every household name under the sun has been launching booze-soaked businesses away from their main gigs, from grapes to grains.

But the question is: is it all slick marketing or a passion project fuelled by billions already in the bank - or, have these libations got legs?

While admittedly some launches have been gimmicks to further lesser stars’ fame machines, you’d be surprised at how many A-listers haven’t used their status to push their new boozy enterprises, instead choosing to let the quality of their drinks speak for themselves.

Take for instance, Miraval rose. Who knew this elegant Provençal blush bursting with strawberry, white pear and floral aromas was once owned by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt (he still owns 50 per cent)? Then there’s Teremana Tequila, a sip-don’t-shoot small batch spirit made in the Jalisco Highlands, owned by none other than Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. It’s a fact may have been overlooked by drinkers who were too busy appreciating the drink instead.

And then, of course, there’s the captain of the bandwagon: is Mr George Clooney and his association with Casamigos Tequila responsible for starting the trend? While Clooney’s face no doubt drew in customers, it’s the quality of the spirit that’s made many lifelong fans and helped him sell the company to drinks giant Diageo in 2017 for - ready? - a cool $1bn. No wonder other celebs are rolling up their sleeves and fiddling about with distillation pots; who wouldn’t want a piece of this lucrative pie?

They make great gifts - especially for stans - but even better additions to your drinks trolley, especially if you’re looking to shake things up from your usual tipple.

And, with Christmas on its merry way to us in less than 100 days, we reckon the next few weeks will see only more launches begging to be gift-wrapped and placed under the tree.

If you can’t have a drink with your favourite celeb, is the next best thing a drink made by them? We’ve rounded up the best, and the most surprising, celebrity-backed alcohol brands to help you determine your new star-worthy serve.

From the great and good of Hollywood, to Britain’s national treasures (Gemma Collins gin, anyone?), it’s time to load up your drinks trolley with the glitziest bottles around.

See our favourites below

Château Miraval Rosé

Miraval

Star power: Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt

Purchased by one of the world’s most famous couples in 2008, Château Miraval is most famed for its award-winning light blush rose. Brimming with fruit and floral notes and a sparkling dash of lemon, it’s a lovely bottle to reach for when you’re yearning for a drop of summer.

You can just picture Ang and Brad trotting around a sun-drenched vineyard with rose-tinted glasses, murmuring their appreciation for the fine French grapes. Despite calling in the divorce lawyers in 2016, the Jolie-Pitts remained part-time vinters until as recently as 2021 when Angelina sold her 50 per cent stake to drinks group Tenute del Monde for an undisclosed sum. Sold everywhere from Tesco to Fortnums.

Gary Barlow Organic White and Red Wine

Gary Barlow wine

Star power: the clue’s in the name

Now that Take That’s core fans are well into their 30s, there’s a different reason for running a stampede towards Mr Barlow: namely, his line of organic red (£8.99) and white wine (£8.49). Both are made with grapes grown in Spain, with the red said to be a particularly sound choice for heartier autumnal meals like lamb and stews, while the white heightens the taste of a light salad or seafood.

Kylie Minogue Prosecco

Kylie Minogue

Star power: the disco queen from Down Under

Kylie may be used to topping the charts with seven No.1’s in the UK alone, but she’s top of the pops in the drinks world too. In 2021, her Prosecco rose was the leader in the category selling over a million bottles just 10 months after it launched - according to data from Neilsen.

The extra-dry vegan-friendly tipple comes in a heart-embossed bottle and dances with red berries and fragrant blossom. It hits all the right notes, but then what else would you expect from a musical legend?

19 Crimes Cali Blend and Cali Rose

19 Crimes

Star power: Snoop Dogg

Not an owner, but a collaborator, Snoop Dogg features on one of wine brand 19 Crimes’ bottles. The first Californian wine in the Australian company’s portfolio, the bold red (£21.99) features a mix of petite syrah, zinfandel, and a splash of merlot and pays tribute to Snoop’s home state.

It did so well that the two teamed up again, this time with a sweet, fruity rose made for summer sipping. He’ll even join you for your drink thanks to 19 Crimes’ augmented reality labels, which brings the rap legend to life on your phone when you scan the code.

Champagne Armand de Brignac

Champagne Armand de Brignac

Star power: Shawn ‘Jay Z’ Carter

Better known as ‘Ace of Spades’ thanks to the logo on its opaque gold-coloured bottles, the Champagne house’s history dates back to before the French Revolution. In 2006, Jay Z added his name to its historic timeline when he used a bottle as a prop in the video for “Show Me What You Got”. It was total product placement; Jay Z already had a stake in the business, and ended up buying it outright in 2014.

Naturally, with such A-list approval, Ace of Spades became one of the most-wanted bottles for parties, weddings and special occasions. By 2021, the former Glastonbury headliner had sold half the company to luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy.

Made with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier grapes, it’s light and lively with a creamy and silky mouthfeel. As well as this gold, you can also find a rose version (£480).

Graham Norton’s Own Sauvignon Blanc

Invivo

Star power: one guess

When he’s not chortling with celebs on his chat show, the host puts his winemaker hat on with producer Invivo & Co to produce an entire portfolio of drinks. The very first Sauvignon Blanc was made by flying a bunch of Marlborough grapes to the London TV studio so Norton could crush them himself, before being taken back to New Zealand to add to the rest of the wine. That was in 2014; now, the offering includes Rosé, Shiraz and Prosecco.

There’s more. Norton and Invivo brought in West Cork Distillers to make small batch gins too: one regular London Dry-style and another pink distillation, both boasting locally foraged botanicals.

Invivo x, Sarah Jessica Parker Sauvignon Blanc 2021

Invivo

Star power: SJP

The actress best known for playing Cosmo-swigging Carrie Bradshaw has swapped her cocktail for something with a touch more elegance. SJP has teamed up with Graham Norton’s pals, Invivo, to create her own fruity aromatic Sauvignon Blanc, made with Marlborough grapes from New Zealand. A first in winemaking, the whole process was done over a two-hour Zoom call over multiple continents and time zones. It paid off: SJP’s efforts have been well received by critics and is superbly versatile, working with everything from Korean beef to oysters.

Aviation Gin

Aviation

Star power: Ryan Reynolds

If you’re a Disney + subscriber, you’ve no doubt seen endless trailers for docu-series in which Ryan Reynolds and his pal and Always Sunny star Rob McElhenny buy and try to restore the fortunes of Welsh side Wrexham AFC. But this isn’t the only business he’s bought seemingly on a whim.

The Deadpool actor purchased a stake in Aviation Gin from Davos in 2018 and became co-owner before selling it onto Tanqueray and Gordon’s owner Diageo for around £466m just two years later. He still has a hand in the business and remains the face of the Oregon-made gin. It’s particularly good in cocktails, but can stand alone with a mixer in a classic G&T.

Zymurgorium Gemma Collins Flagingo Kiwi & Lime Gin Liqueur

Zymurgorium

Star power: “’ave a bit of respect”

While this is a Best list, we couldn’t omit this head turning gin from TOWIE star Gemma Collins and wacky alcohol wizards, Zymurgorium. Highly memorable, this is unlike any gin we’ve tried, from the unique spelling of ‘Flagingo’ to the kiwi and lime notes within.

Sure, the flourescent green contents looks like they’ve been bottled at a nuclear plant, but if you’re looking for something unique, there’s no missing this from your bar set-up - especially when the gold flakes inside catch the light. Loud, fun and slightly overbearing - how fitting.

Crystal Head Vodka

Crystal Head Vodka

Star power: Dan Aykroyd

When you fancy a vodka martini, who you gonna call? Ghostbusters writer and actor Dan Aykroyd, of course. The star co-founded his vodka brand back in 2008, helping it stand out on the shelves in a transparent glass bottle shaped like a skull. Supposed to represent life (rather than the more obvious poison), it’s one of the most premium vodkas around, with different bottle colours - including a rainbow one for Pride (£44.49) - making them collectors items.

The spirit is among the purest you’ll find, going through a quadruple distillation process and seven-times filtration and made with Newfoundland water.

Cîroc Vodka

CÎROC

Star power: Sean Combs aka P. Diddy

Not the owner, but the face of this Diageo-owned brand in the US (in return for 50 per cent of the profits), the hip-hop legend helped put Cîroc on the map. Made using high quality methods you’d find in other premium vodkas like Grey Goose, the French vodka brand quickly grew in popularity with Piddy fronting its drinks and, in a 2016 interview with Us Weekly, he claimed he came up with all the brand’s flavours.

From £26.99.

Casamigos Tequila

Press handout

Star power: George Clooney

George Clooney: actor, film director, producer, screenwriter - and one-time co-owner of tequila brand Casamigos. Founded in 2013 by Clooney and Cindy Crawford’s husband Rande Gerber, it was sold four years later to Diageo for a headspinning $1bn.

Naturally with credentials this starry, the tequila did well in La La Land, a fixture in home bars and parties all through Hollywood and beyond. But Casamigos is not a case of all glamour, no grit.

Production goes above and beyond minimum requirements: the agave is roasted for 10 times the normal time and given twice as long to ferment. This is a blanco, so it’s gone through the fewest steps to produce and is aged for only two months - but it’s still miles better for cocktails than anything with a worm in it.

Teremana Tequila Blanco

Teremana Tequila

Star power: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

Clooney’s not the only one with a taste for the tequila biz. Former wrestler and fellow Hollywood star Dwayne Johnson also has a piece of the action with his brand Teremana Tequila, which won Gold for its Reposado expression and a lauded Master medal for its Blanco in the Tequila & Mezcal Masters competition 2022.

The small batch Blanco is suited to margarita-making as the agave is simmered in artisan copper stills, leaving behind a rich, smooth flavour that makes the cocktail sing. How does Johnson prefer it? Presumably on The Rocks (sorry).

818 Tequila

818 Tequila Blanco

Star power: Kendall Jenner

There’s no denying that Calabasas’ first family are shrewd business women: there’s not a day that goes by without one of the Kardashians flogging something or the other to their legions of fans across the world.

With a readymade customer base, Kendall launched a boozy enterprise of her own: tequila. Named for her zip code, 818 Tequila is made, as all premium tequilas are, from agave plants in Jalisco, Mexico, before being stewed in adobe brick ovens and aged in French oak barrels. The result is sweet with vanilla notes muddled alongside tropical and citrus fruit flavours.

Próspero Tequila Blanco

Próspero Tequila

Star power: Rita Ora

The songstress joined the Mexican wave of celeb-backed alcohol brands when, in 2020, she became a shareholder and chief creative partner of Próspero Tequila.

Made with master distiller Stella Anguiano, the spirit comes in three expressions attesting to age and quality - blanco, reposado and anejo. The launch was a huge success at that year’s World Tequila Awards, landing in the top ten.

The blanco in particular is a delight in margaritas, and Ora suggests adding a splash of ginger ale for extra sweetness.

Wild Turkey Longbranch Bourbon

Wild Turkey

Star power: Matthew McConaughey

Full of sweetness and smoke, this bottle of Wild Turkey is the result of two men’s efforts: the brand’s Master Distiller Eddie Russell and the brand’s Creative Director – Wolf of Wall Street actor Matthew McConaughey. Dangerously easier to glug down than Scotch, this bourbon is rich and rounded, refined with wood from Kentucky and Texas, both the creator’s home states. The small batch bourbon is an excellent choice for gifting, for both long-time bourbon fans as well as those just starting out on their journey.

Haig Club Clubman

Haig via Getty Images

Star power: David Beckham

Brand Beckham added to its usual football and fashion ventures when, in 2014, David became a Haig Club partner, owned by Diageo. The drink is aimed to appeal to a new market of whisky drinkers, which will help with Golden Balls on side (not to mention his 75m Instagram followers).

It’s a departure from the old-fashioned perception of whisky, housed in a square blue bottle, made from single grain and aged in old American bourbon casks. A second expression is also on the table; Haig Mediterranean, made with juicy Seville oranges (£21.94).