Today is National Caesar Day, and we could think of no one better to share a Caesar with than Dan Aykroyd, a magnate in the alcohol industry.
Aykroyd knows a thing or two about business. He began his career in show business at the age of 17. Some of you might best know him from his starring roles in blockbusters like “Ghostbusters” and “Blues Brothers”, but he has also been dubbed “The King of Tequila”, for his role in obtaining the Canadian distribution rights to Patron Tequila. AND he’s half the genius behind Crystal Skull Vodka, a premium vodka distilled and bottled in Newfoundland, “I wanted to do something ‘AAA’ instead of just ‘A’. People will pay because they want a better experience.”
Some might write off his success as a result of his celebrity name, but in Aykroyd’s case, there have been many business lessons he’s been able to apply to his alcohol ventures, “Show business is a business. You want to create a product that an audience consumes and likes, which makes them want to come back for more. The goals are the same. The film industry taught me the value of collaboration in a really true sense and I take that with me wherever I go. I build strong teams around me and let them do what they do best and let them delegate around me and see what comes out of it.”
Aykroyd’s advice to those interested in entering the alcohol business? “First thing is to make sure your product is impeccable. Be patient because there is no get rich quick scheme. Maybe sometimes like in the case of Sailor Jerrys Rum, but those stories are few and far between. Never let your eye off the business – treat it like a 3-year-old on a playground swing. Make sure your quality is there and continually improve relationships with people who are buying. Follow up is a big part of success”.
Some might say that the hottest industry to get involved in right now is cannabis. Aykrod’s not looking to jump in right now, but he did have some advice for those who might be interested. “A lot of people are growing flowers right now but there are too many people doing that. I think the future of cannabis will be in medical applications. Shoppers Drug Mart has expressed interest in stocking CBD oil. I know CBD oil works – I rub it on my knee and it takes away the pain. Cannabinoids not opioids!”
His favourite Caesar garnish? “A well grilled, baby, lollipop lamb-chop with mint jelly around the edge, and then I dip the chop. Because Caesars are about food!” If you’re looking for a fire Caesar recipe to make today or this weekend, Aykroyd has you covered. The “Hot Head Caesar” (Crystal Head Vodka, Fresh Chopped Garlic & Lime Juice, Sriracha, Mott’s Clamato), with the winning garnish submitted by Lindsay O’Hare. Out of 12,500 garnishes, her Spicy Tuna hand roll was an ingenious idea, Her cone-shaped garnish is a delicious nod to Dan Aykroyd’s famous comedy, “Coneheads” with the funniest “fish-out-of-water characters ever.”
Happy National Caesar Day!