You own restaurants and now have a new vodka. Any parallels between entertainment and hospitality?
Yeah, sure. I mean people, no matter what, enjoy entertainment. For someone, that might mean seeing a great film. For another person, it might mean enjoying a great meal and a cocktail.
How did you come to be involved with New Zealand’s VDKA 6100?
A friend approached me a few years ago about an idea he had for a new spirit. I was intrigued, and I decided to meet with the team to discuss their ideas. Anything I choose to be involved in has to have a special quality to it, and they asked me to taste a few different vodkas, and I really gravitated toward this one.
It wasn’t something I was actively searching for. But the opportunity presented itself, and it was a project I wanted to take part in.
What’s your day-to-day role with it?
I’ve been involved from the beginning. There are a lot of celebrity-backed products out there, but I pride myself in being involved in all areas, from development to our cocktail recipes. I didn’t just want to show up and be paid.
So, if I worked for VDKA, I could call you my colleague?
If I become involved, I like to be an active participant. It’s true about my film projects, and true about my business ventures.
What’s your favorite cocktail?
A classic Martini with a lemon twist (see below).
The De Niro Martini
Combine 4 ounces of vodka, 1 ounce of dry vermouth and ice in a cocktail shaker. Stir. Strain into a martini glass, then repour into the shaker and strain again into the glass. Top with a lemon twist.