Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
Why is every celebrity now also a part-time tequila distiller? Is it because there’s no more room on this earth for another celeb-owned restaurant? Is it because they need something to do when they’re not on tour or filming a breakout cable series? Or, because alcohol goes so well with the celebrity lifestyle?
Whatever the reason, the nice surprise is that a lot of the booze, beer and wine produced by famous people is actually pretty good. Once upon a time, celebs just put their name on a bottle. Now they’re more involved; or at least very good at choosing talented distillers and breweries.
They’re also sometimes donating profits to charity - cheers to that! And, cheers to whatever celebrity spirits are in the works, including the just-announced, years-before-we’ll-see-it Mumford & Sons whiskey.
George Clooney: Casamigos
Clooney’s new tequila, made in partnership with Cindy Crawford’s husband Rande Gerber, is made by a master distiller in the Mexican state of Jalisco. Like other top tequilas, it’s produced from 100% blue agave plants and cooks in a traditional stone ovens for 72 hours. Casamigos blanco tequila won gold at the 2013 Los Angeles International Spirits Competition; they also make a reposado version.
This pale ale from the three-brother band Hanson will debut in September 2013 on their upcoming tour. The brothers, Isaac, Taylor and Zac, developed the brew in partnership with Mustang Brewing Comapny from their home state of Oklahoma. They’re also working on an IPA that Taylor Hanson told Food & Wine “is amazing. This is a beer that will stop any beer snob in their tracks. I think the pale ale is a great, drinkable beer but for those who want to go further, we’ll launch an Mmmhops-with-a-few-extra-mmms IPA.” They’re also selling T-shirts and pint glasses on their website; the proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross to assist with Oklahoma tornado recovery efforts.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie: Château Miraval
In April, the couple debuted their Côtes de Provence Rosé from their 1,000-acre, $60 million estate in the south of France. The first 6,000 bottles sold out within five hours of going on sale online. The Grenache-Syrah blend is made by Marc Perrin, who owns Château de Beaucastel in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Reviewing the wine in Vanity Fair, Joe Bastianich called it “very, very, very pretty” with aromas of “macerated wild strawberries, confectionary sugars, and strawberry or raspberry PEZ."
Kenny Chesney: Blue Chair Bay Rum
The country star’s rum debuted in 30 states across the U.S. in May. Chesney is offering three kinds - white (clear rum aged in white oak casks), coconut and coconut spiced (with nutmeg, cinnamon and clove) - that he’s making in Barbados with distiller Mike Booth. "Anyone who knows me knows I’ve drunk a lot of rum in a lot of places. I think anyone who enjoys rum is gonna love this,” Chesney said.
Drew Barrymore: Barrymore Wines
Barrymore partnered with Wilson Daniels to create her signature Pinot Grigio last year. The grapes are grown in northeastern Italy. She told Food & Wine: “I want to do wines that I actually really love drinking myself. I’ve always ordered Pinot Grigio when I go to a restaurant because it’s a surefire way to not get a wine that’s too buttery or acidic or overly fruity. Wine is so subjective, and artistic that way: Two people can drink the same glass of wine and one’s spitting it out and one’s buying the bottle, and I love that. To me, this wine really tastes beautiful. It’s dangerously easy-drinking.”
Justin Timberlake: 901 Silver Tequila
Back in 2009, Timberlake debuted this triple-distilled tequila made from a 60-year-old recipe at Tequilera Newton in Jalisco. According to JT on the 901 website, “901 is when the evening ends and the night begins.” It’s also the area code of his hometown, Memphis, Tennessee. The site features cocktails from a slew of good bars, including Fatty ’Cue, which serves the 901 PM cocktail (tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice and club soda), as well as La Señorita (tequila, smoked pineapple juice, lime juice and Tabasco), presumably named after his 2003 hit, "Señorita."
More from Food & Wine:
Surprising Celebrity Food Products
Gifts for the Cocktail Enthusiast
50 Best Bars in America
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There's a great reason why Casamigos blanco tequila won gold at the 2013 Los Angeles . It's delicious!
No Randy Travis? "My Cot is the Middle of the Road"
I would be willing to pay whatever it took if one of those fabulous celebrities would drink with me. As a bald, middle-aged handicapped man (I believe in full disclosure, even on the internets), I don't often get a chance to rub shoulders (or any other body parts) with the rich and famous!
Strawberry or raspberry PEZ? Sounds like a great wine.
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