Spirit brands are celebrity magnets. How better to spend your ducats—or make some—than by backing some good juice? This has not worked out so well for some stars, who seem uncomfortable or weirdly disconnected in their role as creative director, pitching a product they don’t really understand. Meanwhile, others have thrived, especially in the realm of tequila and rum, where it is almost always a partnership between a celebrity and a well-respected distiller of pedigree. Just look at actor George Clooney and nightlife impresario Rande Gerber’s sleek, nightclub-ready Casamigos tequila. Carlos Santana’s partnership with venerable Casa Noble tequila has been a match made in agave heaven since 2011. Enrique Iglesias’ Atlantico rum has been doing well since he launched it a little under a year ago with a boutique supplier. And more are on the way—hello, Bruno Mars’ Selvarey rum—starting with these three new celebrity-backed spirits, which hit shelves this season.
Sauza 901 Silver Tequila
Even that whole Bud Light Platinum debacle couldn’t keep Justin Timberlake down. But you won’t see JT’s pretty face plastered on 901 tequila’s landing page. No, Sauza would appear to prefer you focus on the story: Timberlake actually likes tequila, appreciates it and gave it some thought before getting in the game back in 2009 when 901 (named either for his hometown area code or 9:01 p.m., the official start of party time, depending on where you’re reading) first launched. But the triple-distilled 100 percent agave silver tequila got a new boost in January when it was announced that 901 would soon get the marketing muscle of Sauza and Beam Inc. behind it. 901 has already arrived in the 702. 901.com.
Can Diddy do any wrong? Would he tell you if he did? And what does it even matter? He’s … Puff Daddy! But when Sean Combs isn’t mocking himself in Get Him to the Greek or deadpanning for laughs in Lonely Island music videos, he’s selling vodka. And when he’s not selling Ciroc vodka, he’s apparently selling tequila. (Which also begs the question: when does Diddy sleep?) DeLeón tequila is Puffy’s latest entrepreneurial venture, a 50/50 collaboration with distributor Diageo announced in January. Arriving this month, the portfolio’s five rather expensive expressions include DeLeón 51 Extra Añejo and the Sauternes wine-barrel-aged Leóna, and come in handsome, masculine, glass decanter-style bottles that, oh, just happen to each bear a giant letter D. Which stands for “Delicioso,” right, Mr. Daddy? DeLeonTequila.com.
Entertainment mogul and Hollywood Walk of Fame star-holder Emilio Estefan does three things very well: writing and producing Grammy award-winning songs, and we’re hoping the other thing is rum. In February, Estefan announced his new partnership with the Botran family to be the face of their portfolio. The Guatemalan distillery’s history dates back to 1939, when five Spanish brothers from Borgos set up shop, making solera-aged rums. The 3-year Reserva Blanca will be appreciated in Las Vegas this summer, lending itself to refreshing mojitos and Cuba Libres. But when the sun goes down, Botran Reserva, aged up to 15 years, and Solera 1893, aged up to 18 years, will make for some special evenings when the city’s mixologists get a hold of it in April. BotranRums.com.