George Clooney's success with Casamigos - the tequila brand he co-founded in 2013 - heralded in an age of celebrity beverage brands (the actor ultimately sold his brand to Constellation Brands in a $1bn deal.)
Today celebs such as Ryan Reynolds and Mark Wahlberg are lending their style to premium and ultra-premium brands; while others such as Dwayne Johnson and Katy Perry are looking to emerging categories such as functional beverages and low/no alcohol.
Emma Watson: Renais Gin
Launched in May 2023, Emma Watson’s gin brand Renais Spirits features in the UK’s 2024 Startups 100 Index and is gearing up for its US launch this spring.
The brand is a ‘love letter to French winemaking’, brother and sister Alex Watson and Emma Watson inspired by their childhood trips to the family vineyard, Domaine Watson, in France – which their father has operated for more than 30 years.
Alex brings a wealth of industry knowledge after a decade spent working with luxury spirit brands; while Emma works on the creative side of the business.
The drink offers ‘a bold and vibrant spirit with a truly incredible story and flavor profile, combining modernity and heritage in a beautiful bottle’. Made to be sipped over ice as well as mixing in cocktails, Renais suits stirred-down classics such as the martini, as well as long and refreshing spritzes and G&Ts.
In the US, Renais Gin will be distributed by Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC).
Dwayne Johnson: ZOA
‘Poised to be the next big energy drink brand’ – according to investor Molson Coors – is Dwayne Johnson’s ZOA.
As ‘chief energy officer’, Johnson is one of the co-founders of the better-for-you energy drink: alongside business partners Dany Garcia, Dave Rienzi and John Shulman.
The drink is designed to support healthy immunity while providing a boost of energy, focus and hydration. It contains a unique blend of 100% daily value Vit C, antioxidants from Camu Camu, acerola, electolytes and amino acids. A 12oz can contains 160mg of caffeine, sourced form green coffee and green tea.
Beer giant Molson Coors invested in ZOA at its 2021 launch as part of its strategy to move beyond beer into newer, high-growth categories. In September, it upped its investment (an expanded minority stake, value of which has not been disclosed), to increase media and marketing and drive expansion to international markets.
The brand is currently available at more than 42,000 retail locations and more than 160,000 points of distribution in the US and Canada.
Kylie Minogue: wine
Kylie Minogue launched her own wine brand in partnership with Benchmark Wines in 2020. She followed that with the launch of a sparkling non-alcoholic wine in 2022.
The brand is available in 31 countries, with a particular focus on the UK (Prosecco Rose is the top branded Prosecco Rose in the UK, with £8.9m in sales).
The latest step forward is the launch of Kylie Minogue 0% sparkling rose in the US this month, as the brand continues to expand its worldwide reach.
Kylie Minogue 0% Sparkling Rosé Wine Alternative is ‘breaking barriers and bringing her signature style to the realm of non-alcoholic sparkling wines’.
It hopes to emulate the success of Kylie Minogue Prosecco Rose: which is already the fastest growing premium sparkling rose under $20 in the country.
It is the latest venture in wine for the Australian pop star: who launched her own wine brand
Matthew McConaughey: Pantalones Organic Tequila
Debuting in the US in October last year, Matthew & Camila McConaughey Pantalones Organic Tequila is a line of super premium organic tequila ‘crafted to celebrate having fun, doing good and not taking life too seriously.’
The Pantalones Tequila portfolio, crafted with 100% premium, organic, blue weber agave, includes a Blanco (with notes of honey and citrus) Reposado (aged 9 months with hints of sweet fruit and fresh oak) and Añejo (aged 15 months with notes of vanilla, butterscotch and maple).
Blake Lively: Betty Buzz and Betty Booze
Blake Lively’s sparkling beverage brands – Betty Buzz and Betty Booze – are available across the US.
Betty Buzz – a line of non-alcoholic sparkling mixers made from clean ingredients – was launched in 2021. Betty Booze, a line of gourmet low-alcohol sparkling canned cocktails – was launched in 2023.
The brands recently honed in on the celebration occasion with the launch of the Betty B Holiday Entertaining Guide to accompany the brands – including ideas for Valentine’s Day.
Kendall Jenner: 818 Tequila
Kendall Jenner’s tequila brand, 818 Tequila, is available in global markets including the US, Canada, the Caribbean, China, U.A.E and the UK.
The brand works with agave farmers in the Tequila region, then works with a distillery partner in the Amatitan region of Jalisco.
They identify agaves in the Los Valles region of Tequila, waiting six to seven years for the agaves to reach peak maturity.
In the UK, Tesco has become the first UK supermarket to stock 818 tequila this week: expanding the range from select high-end stores to nationwide distribution.
Katy Perry: De Soi
Katy Perry launched De Soi – a line of non-alcoholic aperitifs – in the US in January 2022.
The pop star teamed up with Master Distiller Morgan McLachlan to create the ‘fun and functional’ drinks: which blend in adaptogens such as lion’s mane and l-theanine for a stress-soothing effect.
De Soi’s lineup includes Golden Hour (lemon balm and L-theanine); Champignon Dreams (a bitter but balanced pour made with reishi mushroom and passion flower); Purple Lune (a rich and sensual elixir made with ashwagandha and tart cherry); and its most recent launch, Très Rosé (evoking a sparkling brut rose with notes of bright red fruits and subtle florals, lion’s mane and saffron).
Quavo: White X Cognac
Grammy-nominated artist and entrepreneur Quavo and US spirits company Sazerac have announced a ‘new-to-world’ white cognac offering, White X Cognac.
Described as ‘fresh, modern, and light’, White X positions itself as one of the first and only white cognacs available in the US (crafted in a similar way to cognac with grapes from the cognac region in France, the spirit is younger and does not undergo the same aging process as its traditional counterpart).
White X believes it can ‘transform the category by ushering in a new era of luxury with a smoother, sweeter and more mixable white cognac’.
The brand debuts with a limited-edition run of 100 bottles, released on February 7 for $60.
Ryan Reynolds: Aviation Gin
Aviation American Gin is an American style gin crafted with a blend of botanicals, with subtle juniper notes for a smooth balanced flavor profile.
Ryan Reynolds acquired an ownership interest in the brand in 2018; and although the brand was sold to Diageo in 2020 (with Reynolds reportedly making around $122m from the deal) he retailed an ownership interest with his name still firmly associated with the brand.
Neat aviation tie-ups for the brand include The Aviation Gin Bar at the British Airways JFK Lounge (in partnership with Blake Lively’s Betty Buzz mixers); as well as a collaboration with Virgin Atlantic (followed by Virgin Voyages’ cruise ships).
The brand has just released recipes for Valentine’s Day cocktails that were all created at Aviation Gin’s distillery in Portland, Oregon: including the Berry Me, Sweetheart, Starcrossed and more.
Mark Wahlberg: Flecha Azul Tequila
Mexican professional golfer Abraham Ancer and entrepreneur Aron Marquez co-founded Flecha Azul in 2019 as a brand 'rooted in the bonds of friendship, love for Mexican culture, and living the American Dream'. In 2022, actor, producer and businessman Mark Wahlberg joined the team as a principal investor.
The brand took the first steps to global expansion in May with the launch in Canada.