June is Music + Food Month at Tasting Table.
You're not imagining it: It seems like every rock star these days has his own bespoke booze. Just like perfume, liquor comes in pretty bottles with plenty of space for stenciling in a celebrity name. Often it's just another form of brand extension.
But there's good news, too. For every yawn-worthy bottle backed by a second-rate pop tart, there are plenty of other great bottles that just so happen to be affiliated with a celebrity. Although some claim to have input in deciding a spirit's flavor profile, for most, you have professional distillers and blenders to thank for the good liquor in your glass, and the celebrities contribute little to the final product beyond their name and investment capital.
Here are five bottles to enjoy, whether you prefer bottle service at the club or spinning vintage vinyl at home.
Blue Chair Bay Rum ($19) This lineup of rums from country singer/songwriter Kenny Chesney is mellow and sweet, just like his music. The easy-sipping coconut spiced rum is just right for tropical concoctions.
Conjure Cognac ($30) Props to rapper Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, who reportedly actually traveled to the Cognac region to participate in selecting the final blend of brandies. The end result balances caramel, almond and dark chocolate for a versatile cognac ideal to sip or mix.
DeLeón Joven Diamante Tequila ($150) Owned by Sean "Diddy" Combs and Diageo, this splashy luxury line also includes a $350 añejo tequila and an $850 Distiller's Reserve finished in Sauternes wine casks (which tastes remarkably like Cognac).
Mansinthe by Marilyn Manson ($44) Apparently, everyone's favorite creepy Goth rocker has a soft spot for the green fairy. It's jade green in the glass, louching to opalescent, with lots of mint and big, pure licorice flavor. We wouldn't expect anything subtle from Manson.
Sauza 901 Silver Tequila ($30) Justin Timberlake teamed up with Beam (and dressed up like a lime to boot) for this blanco tequila. Smooth and fleetingly sweet, brushed with honey, almond and coconut, it gets a thumbs up for margaritas.
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