Artisan Spirit: Fall 2023

Page 64

A-HEAD of the GAME Crystal Head Vodka’s Innovative Spirit Still Shines WRITTEN BY RICH MANNING /// PHOTOS PROVIDED BY CRYSTAL HEAD VODKA


here’s a big difference between a “celebrity-owned spirit” and a spirit owned by a celebrity. This difference was abundantly clear when I talked to Dan Aykroyd about Crystal Head Vodka, the spirit he co-founded with artist John Alexander in 2008. Within two minutes, we were discussing the negative impact of glycerides and how fusel oils can add unwanted citrus flavors to a neutral grain spirit. Five minutes in and it was easy for me to forget I was talking to an Emmy winner, Academy Award nominee, and one of Saturday Night Live’s original Not Ready for Prime Time Players. I was having too much fun nerding out about things like TTB classifications with a fellow spirits geek to think about such things. Aykroyd doesn’t just know his shit, he knows his shit. This knowledge forms the soul of Crystal Head’s award-winning vodka. The brand shies away from its star power and leans into its process and philosophy, a unique trait that increasingly runs counter to the growing glut of brands with celebrity ties. It’s the proper play, too: For fifteen years, Crystal Head has delivered innovation to a category not known for serious envelope pushing.



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