It’s no secret that drinking is as common to country music as broken hearts and tractor rides. But, in recent years some of the biggest names in the genre have taken the topic from the airwaves to real-life experiences. There’s certainly no shortage of bars and entertainment venues sporting the names of celebrities, especially in Music City where a new crop of downtown haunts like FGL House, Luke Bryan’s 32 Bridge and Jason Aldean’s Kitchen join establishments like Alan Jackson’s AJ’s Good Times Bar and Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row to draw in tourist crowds nightly. But, a few of the big-name artists are taking it a bit further by promoting their own spirit brands.
While Blake Shelton is already making news with his Ole Red restaurant and bar downtown, he is also one of the talents often seen online promoting his own Smithworks Vodka. Kenny Chesney’s Blue Chair Bay Rum has been a big hit with the summer and vacation set while Darius Rucker is throwing it back with his Backstage Whiskey. Perhaps one of the most popular celebrity-backed brands is George Strait’s Código 1530 Tequila. The backside of the business may be the end game for their investments into the spirits arena, but one of the perks of having a big name brand on hand is, of course, imbibing.
We’ve asked a few of these famous crooners to share a bit about their brand and their favorite cocktail concoctions including their blend. Here’s why they love their libations, and tips on how best to sip them all season.
GEORGE STRAIT’S CÓDIGO 1530
Código is an ultra-premium tequila that was consumed privately by a small group of Mexican families (and family friends like George Strait) before becoming commercially available in 2017. Código comes from agave that is sourced from superior plants and also doesn’t use chemicals or additives at any point during the distillation process. The brand also ages the tequila in wine barrels (most tequilas use bourbon casks) to end up with flavor notes that differ from the rest of the category.
Skinny Rosa Margarita
Código 1530 Rosa begins with the purity of our Blanco, then is rested for one month in uncharred Napa Cabernet French White Oak barrels. The result is a refined spirit with a natural color as beautiful as its taste. The Rosa has rested just long enough in fine Cabernet barrels to enrich the natural agave juice, without overpowering its delicate floral notes.
- 2 oz. Código 1530 Rosa Tequila
- 1 oz. fresh lime juice
- 1 oz. fresh orange juice
- 4 oz. club soda
Shake ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice and top with club soda. Garnish with lime (pictured above).
Anejo Old Fashioned
Código 1530 Añejo has been lauded by Tequila experts as the finest Añejo tequila available. A private recipe refined over many generations by an artisan distilling family in Amatitán and aged for 18 months in the finest Napa Cabernet French White Oak barrels, Código 1530 Añejo is refined, elegant and expressive – hints of fruit, mingled with oak, touches of vanilla and a bit of spice.
- 2 oz. Código 1530 Añejo Tequila
- 2 dash simple syrup
- 2 dash bitters
- Slice of orange
In an Old Fashioned or rocks glass, muddle orange. Add simple syrup, bitters, tequila, and an ice cube, and stir until well-chilled.
KENNY CHESNEY’S BLUE CHAIR BAY RUM
Blue Chair Bay Rum, which had one of the industry’s most successful launches in the history of wine and spirits, is a collection of premium-blended rums created on the shores of the Caribbean and inspired by multi-platinum songwriter and entertainer Kenny Chesney’s love of the islands. Currently offering 10 flavors, Blue Chair Bay Rum is made with exceptional care using natural ingredients and is available in 50ml, 750ml, 1L and 1.75L bottles.
From the Barbary Coast to the exotic spice markets of the Far East to the white beaches of the Caribbean, Blue Chair Bay’s Spiced Rum takes you on a globe-trotting adventure. The warm, sun-kissed amber color hints at its tropical, heady aroma. Soft, sweet vanilla meets fiery cinnamon and other spices to evoke visions of palm trees and pirate flags. Mix with cola and set sail!
- 2 oz. Blue Chair Bay Spiced Rum
- ginger beer
In a rocks glass or tin mug, fill with ice, pour Blue Chair Bay Spiced Rum followed by gingerbeer. Stir, sit back and relax
This is coconut rum the way it was meant to be, original strength and smooth as an ocean breeze. It’s inspired by the places where you sail up, swim ashore, and pay for a round with wet money. Now being served in places where shoes are not an option.
- 1.5 oz. Blue Chair Bay Coconut Rum
- 1 oz. orange juice
- 1 oz. pineapple juice
- 2 oz. lemon-lime soda
Build ingredients directly into a tall glass with ice. Stir and flirt. Want produce? Add an orange slice and cherry!
BLAKE SHELTON’S SMITHWORSK VODKA
Barstool or backyard, friends or family, neat or otherwise, Smithworks American Made Vodka is the perfect anchor for your good time. It’s made with water from Lake Fort Smith, and with corn from Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Then it’s distilled three times and charcoal filtered for a smooth taste and clean finish. Like Smithworks, Blake was born and bred in America’s Heartland. In fact, he still lives there. And like Smithworks, Blake was raised on hard work, dedication, and an appreciation for celebrating life’s simple pleasures with good people.
Ole Red Bloody Mary
Ole Red is a lifestyle and entertainment brand inspired by Blake Shelton’s clever, irreverent third-chart hit, “Ol’ Red.” You can currently find Ole Red entertainment venues and products in three locations in the United States, the flagship multi-story bar, restaurant and entertainment venue in the heart of downtown Nashville’s famed Lower Broadway, the very first location in Blake’s hometown of Tishomingo, Oklahoma and a newly opened location in Gatlinburg, Tenn. The company has announced an additional location opening in Orlando, Florida in 2020. Ole Red is owned and operated by Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. as part of its Opry Entertainment division.
- 1 1⁄2 oz. Smithworks vodka
- 3 oz. tomato juice
- 1 lemon, juice of
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 3 drops Tabasco sauce
- 1⁄4 teaspoon celery salt
- 1⁄2 tablespoon prepared horseradish
- 1 lemon wedges
- 1 celery stalk
- 2 pickled okra
- 1 stick beef jerky
Rub lemon around the rim of the glass and then put the rim in margarita salt or Tony Chacher. Add ice to the glass. Mix vodka, tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, salt, pepper, celery salt and horseradish (if using), and pour in glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge, celery stalk, pickled okra, and beef jerky.
DARIUS RUCKER’S BACKSTAGE WHISKEY
“Prior to every show, I gather my band, my crew, friends and special guests backstage to raise a glass & toast all who are there. That toast is an important part of our nightly routine, it is really about celebrating the opportunity to make music together & share it with all those at the show. Backstage Southern Whiskey is now part of that important ritual that we can share with everyone.”
Mint Julep Manhattan
Continuing the troubadour’s ability to make hits… this backstage whiskey, infused with fresh southern peaches, fresh mint, and cane sugar, guarantees to make you hum your favorite song as you taste this smooth whiskey with its clean minty finish.
- Brown sugar cube
- Backstage Peach Mint Whiskey
- Fresh mint
- Orange slice
In a mixing glass, muddle up a brown sugar cube with bitters, add in some fresh mint, and add in Backstage Southern Peach Mint Whiskey. Stir up about 30 times, pour into a martini glass and garnish with an orange slice and a mint sprig!