It's only a vodka skull, but they like it

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Local spirit part of Stones' 50th

Some Newfoundland Liquor Corp. (NLC) employees and the Rolling Stones have been spending the night together.

Rock 'n' roll's royalty have selected locally-produced Crystal Head Vodka - you know, the glass skull - as the official vodka of their 50th anniversary.

That has the night crew at Rock Spirits, the NLC's production arm, going flat out.

They've been busy packaging a high-end Stones gift pack that includes two live CDs, a tattoo, a decanter with the band's lip and tongue logo, and of course, a skull of vodka.

The box opens with a zipper - think The Stones' 1971 album "Sticky Fingers" - and opens into a mini-concert stage with the hooch in the centre.

"We'll probably be another month at (packaging) it," says Greg Kerr, operations manager at Rock Spirits.

"It's hard to crack out thousands and thousands of cases of those a night."

The order is for 300,000 units, which are available locally and retail for $89.99.

Rock Spirits produces Crystal Head for a company led by actor and comedian Dan Aykroyd.

He's been using his celebrity and creativity to pitch the vodka since it went to market a few years ago. He's made it a global success, with hundreds of thousands sold.

The Blues Brother/Ghostbuster has spoken with us about the product in the past, but a request to discuss the relationship with the Stones went unanswered.

Aykroyd has done some media on it though.

He told Digital Spy he believes Stones guitarist Keith Richards was introduced to Crystal Head by actor Johnny Depp, who "carted off a case at the premiere of the last 'Pirates of the Caribbean' movie."

"Keith and I have toasted mini-skulls together," Aykroyd said. "What's exciting about our tribute here is that we love the Stones at our company and we thought we should really do something. Keith loves skulls and he likes to drink vodka from time to time - in more moderation than he used to, I believe."

So Crystal Head teamed up with the Stones merchandising arm and designed the gift box.

"We're thrilled to be part of it," Rock Spirit's Kerr says. "(Crystal Head) are a great customer and very innovative and proactive. We're just doing our best to keep up with them."

He adds that the players involved hope being part of the Stones anniversary merchandise machine will boost awareness of the product.

Just announcing the gift pack on the band's Facebook page, he explains, will introduce Crystal Head to millions who "otherwise wouldn't have a clue about the vodka."

"There's no disputing the tongue and Crystal Head go together nicely," Kerr laughs.

Who knows? Maybe this will lead to other collaborations with the Stones, like a Jumping Jack Flask.

 

Email Steve Bartlett at sbartlett@thetelegram.com. On Twitter, he's @TelegramSteve.

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