In the liquor industry, celebrity endorsements are not a new thing. If anything, they’ve proliferated with Mila Kunis repping Jim Beam and Ray Liotta scaring hipsters into trading in their Manhattans for 1800 tequila. One such new endorsement is Snoop Dogg and Cuca Fresca Cachaça.
Snoop Dogg’s name has been associated with not just “Gin and Juice” but also a controversial alcoholic energy drink and Landy Cognac. How did Tha Doggfather get hooked up with a small family-owned brand of cachaça?
Apparently, he fell in love with Brazil—its people, its culture, and its signature cocktail, the Caipirinha—after filming his music video for “Beautiful” in Rio de Janeiro. When he was introduced to Cuca Fresca, he wanted to align himself with the brand. So now, as brand ambassador and shareholder, Snoop is making the rounds to promote the cachaça.
In Los Angeles, the Cuca Fresca people organized a “press conference/roundtable” event at a house in the Hollywood Hills. It was billed as an “intimate cocktail experience and conversation with Snoop Dogg” and was supposed to run from 6 to 9 p.m. last night.
But being that this is Snoop, who’s been known to show up late for things, it didn’t go as planned. What started out as a cocktail class and press conference turned into a dance party. Maybe that’s just how it is–“Cuca Fresca” is actually a common Brazilian expression that means to “have a chill vibe.” Here’s a timeline of what went down.
6:30 p.m. I arrive at the event and am directed to the table of appetizers and the bar in the back where Marcos Tello (formerly of The Varnish) is bartending. He’s the one who will be teaching the mixology class with the Doggfather.
6:45 p.m. Am done drinking my Tiki cachaça drink and eating my first round of appetizers. Chatting with the other three writers I know there.
6:48 p.m. Hey, is that Audrina Patridge from The Hills?
6:53 p.m. Watching Audrina Patridge from The Hills sit at a table with some other pretty people drinking some cocktails while getting filmed for her show 1st Look.
7:28 p.m. It starts to feel like we might get stood up by Snoop.
8:32 p.m. The publicist comes to our table of writers to apologize, saying that Snoop is close by.
8:40 p.m. A couple of actresses from Orange Is the New Black show up and enliven the waiting crowd.
8:56 p.m. Snoop FINALLY shows up. But then immediately goes upstairs while we continue to wait downstairs.
8:57 p.m. After three hours of having played Snoop’s catalogue, the Spotify linked to the TV starts playing old Motown.
9:00 p.m. Snoop still hasn’t come down, and now one of my writer friends has to go. “I hate to leave when Snoop is in the house, but I have a party to get to,” he says. And he doesn’t mean upstairs.
9:05 p.m. They finally start the presentation and show the video of their ad starring Snoop. The 57-second ad is slo-mo, switching between scenes of Snoop partying with some ladies and performing on stage. “Flip the script. Stay ahead of the game. Cuca Fresca. Drink different,” he says in voice-over.
9:07 p.m. The short presentation ends. I can see someone from the sidelines gesture to the presenter to stall, so she starts trying to make small talk with everyone. After awhile, she gives up and says “Snoop will be down in a couple of minutes.”
9:21 p.m. He descends the stairs!
9:45 p.m. They try to do a “roundtable” discussion with him where we stand around him and ask him questions. But after nearly four hours of anticipation, no one could really think of anything to ask. One of the OITNB actresses asks, while seated on a couch on the other side of the room, “How do you like to drink it?” “Naked,” he says.
10:00 p.m. They try to get people to go back to their tables for the cocktail class, but everyone is too busy trying to chat up Snoop and get their picture taken with him. Tello was only able to fit in one cocktail lesson—he didn’t stand a chance with Snoop in the room.
10:05 p.m. Everyone goes back to trying to get near Snoop.
10:10 p.m. A mini dance party breaks out with Snoop and the OITNB ladies. Audrina Patridge’s reality-show roots are showing as she tries to get in on the action, too. OITNB actress Adrienne C. Moore shows her how to two-step.
10:15 p.m. After taking pictures of my friends with Snoop, we decide to make our exit with the dance party still going on. One of my pals grabs one of the Cuca Fresca bottles that were on a table near the door. Too shy to follow suit, I scurry out the door after him and compliment him on his brashness. “It’s payment for my time,” he replies. But before I can turn around to grab a bottle, the door is already locked behind me.