Onscreen Villain Giancarlo Esposito Has A New Role — And He Is One Dirty Devil

Giancarlo Esposito Photo Credit: Bryan Regan/Shutterstock.com

There’s a dirty new devil in town! Critically-acclaimed actor Giancarlo Esposito of Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, The Mandalorian, The Boys, and Godfather of Harlem fame has just announced his role as the Global Brand Ambassador for Dirty Devil Vodka, the only vodka in the world made with hyper-oxygenated water.

The infamous onscreen villain and vodka lover will also serve as “chief storyteller”, working with longtime friend and brand CEO Murray Merkley, to deliver an innovative vodka with great taste.

In addition to to utilizing parent company St. Lucifer Spirit’s patented Hyper-Oxygenation Process, which produces water with five times more oxygen than spring water to give it a softer mouthfeel and finish, this new vodka is also gluten-free. Does that mean guilt-free? We’d like to think so!

Giancarlo EspositoPhoto Credit: Dirty Devil Vodka

How did you get involved with Dirty Devil Vodka?

I have been good friends with Dirty Devil Vodka CEO Murray Merkley for more than 20 years. We both enjoy skiing, followed by a great drink and lively conversation. I knew Murray had launched a craft vodka in Canada, and around Christmas 2020 he sent me a bottle. After my first taste, I texted Murray and called DDV “the smoothest EVER. It is like silk!” Dirty Devil Vodka was looking to enter the United States, and we felt there was a great fit with my brand. I started assisting DDV behind the scenes with major trade accounts in late 2021. We announced my Global Brand Ambassador role in May 2022, which aligned with the launch of Dirty Devil Vodka in several leading retail chains on the East Coast.

What is it about the brand that made you so sure it was the right fit for you?

First off, the Dirty Devil Vodka brand does have an easy fit with some of my best-known roles. But I also really appreciate the utilization of new technology in traditional sectors. I was honored to recently become the voice of Sonos audio system’s AI platform, and it has been so fun and so educational to portray roles for Far Cry 6 and of course for The Mandalorian that incorporate cutting-edge CGI. All of those companies are world leaders in technology development within their respective fields. Dirty Devil Vodka, to me, is the first technological advance in vodka in a long time. Their proprietary use of hyperoxygenation to refine the spirit before bottling is truly innovative and creates a truly luxurious, ultra-premium product.

How would you describe the taste, consistency? What does it pair with?

The vodka evokes flavors of rye crisps and anise with a hint of almond and spun sugar. I enjoy Dirty Devil Vodka as a sipping vodka, served chilled and neat, and you can really notice a silky mouthfeel and a smooth finish. It is also spectacular in martinis. Being a corn-based vodka, DDV is both sugar-free and gluten-free. I recommend a pairing with richly-flavored appetizers or simply enjoyed on its own.

What are your hopes for Dirty Devil Vodka in a market that seems to have a new craft spirit debut every day?

There is a lot of competition in the spirits sector, and there are many celebrity beverage partnerships as well. But there are relatively few entrants in the ultra-premium imported vodka sector, and that is a massive market opportunity with over 70 million bottles sold annually in the U.S. alone. We also have a great product. Tastings.com recently gave Dirty Devil Vodka a rating of 93 points and called it “exceptional”, and my friends consistently prefer DDV to other brands when we do a blind taste test. When we combine new technology, a great product, a memorable brand, and my active involvement, we see great potential. And, to that end, we already are stocked at some of the largest and most respected cocktail bars, restaurants, and retailers across North America.

How do you hope to contribute as a Chief Storyteller?

I am fully involved across the entire brand-building process. I have been fortunate to be part of some of the best movies and TV series ever made, working with world-class writers, directors, and videographers, and I am always learning. I love to write and to direct, and I recently directed my first episode of Better Call Saul. Dirty Devil Vodka offers me the opportunity to leverage my experience as a storyteller onscreen and on stage, and a story builder and director offscreen. I love being able to express my passion for the Dirty Devil Vodka brand and what it stands for, and hopefully our audience enjoys the product and does so responsibly.

Is there a story behind the name?

The name is meant to be edgy and memorable, and it seems to be resonating positively with retailers, bartenders, and consumers. This is not your parents’ vodka. When the spirit was first developed by our liquid designer, one of the founders tried it and blurted out Quebecois slang that basically translated to, “You dirty devil, that’s great!” The name stuck.

What is your favorite thing about the brand?

That we meld traditional craft distilling techniques and state-of-the-art technology to create a superior, ultra-premium product.

How do you prefer to drink Dirty Devil Vodka?

Sipped chilled and straight up, or in a martini.

Giancarlo Esposito

Do you think a part of Dirty Devil Vodka relates to your onscreen roles, or vice versa?

There are natural parallels. I think the complexity of the vodka meshes well with the types of roles I enjoy. But I am very careful about the brands I represent, and they must reflect a premium, cool, sophisticated positioning. For example, I collaborated with the amazing lifestyle brand Kith for their Summer 2022 collection.

Are you excited for any upcoming roles or projects in particular?

I’ve never been so busy. Better Call Saul, The Boys, and The Mandalorian are all wonderful series. I’m currently shooting the next season of Godfather of Harlem in New York City. My new upcoming project with Netflix – an incredibly innovative crime drama – is slated for release this year, and I have a new drama project called The Driver that will continue my long relationship with AMC.

What are the must-have items in your home bar?

Fine stemware and highball glasses are important. I also have a variety of bar equipment and bitters for cocktails. Using the highest quality mixes always adds a great touch. Can I say Dirty Devil Vodka? It’s like butter, it’s so smooth.

What’s next for DDV?

We are in the midst of a strategic launch that will see Dirty Devil Vodka expand across the east coast over the next 6 months and should reach nearly 30 states by the end of the year. Our goal is to target premium restaurants and cocktail bars, incorporating feature cocktails and preferred positioning.

Your Breaking Bad co-stars launched their mezcal several years ago. Did you turn to them for advice when launching Dirty Devil Vodka?

Bryan (Cranston) and Aaron (Paul) are doing a great job with Dos Hombres, they promote the brand extensively. I just did a bottle signing at the iconic Park Avenue Liquor Shop in Manhattan. The week before, Brian and Aaron had their own event there, and they signed a bottle of Dos Hombres wishing me the best of luck with Dirty Devil. I have been able to reach out to several friends to ask their counsel, and I also have some longtime friends in the liquor distribution business, so that has been very helpful.

What’s in a name? What does this mean to you?

I think the Dirty Devil brand is truly memorable. That’s a great first step in consumer awareness. We are blessed with a great, innovative product. We will work hard to make the Dirty Devil brand synonymous with superior vodka.

What to you is the greatest luxury in life and why?

Spending time with my daughters.

Giancarlo Esposito