For a funny man, Dan Aykroyd is serious when it comes to drinking. The actor is creating an alcohol empire, including an acclaimed line of wines and a piece of Patrón’s Canadian distribution business. (He helped bring the tequila brand across the border because he couldn’t get it in Ontario, where he has a country house.) And just a couple of years ago, he started Crystal Head Vodka ($50). “I don’t see it just as a novelty because the vodka is good,” he says. “It could have the legs of a winner.” If things work out, Aykroyd is planning on producing other spirits.
He got the idea for the vodka brand when his friend, artist John Alexander, showed him a plan for a skull-shaped bottle. “Right then and there I said, we’ll do a vodka,” Aykroyd remembers. (The name references the legend of the “Mitchell-Hedges skull, the most famous of 13 crystal heads that were found around the planet.”) But he didn’t want to fill the bottle with just any spirit. Aykroyd claims his vodka is completely free of additives that other companies add to improve mouth-feel and smoothness. It’s more like “old-time white lighting,” he says, with a kick of heat. “You can taste the alcohol a little bit.”
Aykroyd insists his brand still treats you gently the morning after. “I know all vodkas say this but you can have six to eight shots of Crystal Head and, if that’s all you’re drinking, you will not have a hangover the next day,” he promises. “What gives you the hangover are all the chemicals. Crystal Head has none of it.”
Maybe that’s why rock legend Keith Richards is a big fan. (Aykroyd says Johnny Depp turned Richards onto it.) “I would love to formalize that relationship,” Aykroyd admits. “I’d give him vodka for life.”