In keeping with his reputation as a connoisseur of the proverbial good times, meme-thief and budding lifestyle entrepreneur Elliot “@FuckJerry” Tebele has decided to wade into the crowded and lucrative waters of celebrity-branded liquor. It’s fertile territory: everyone from Marilyn Manson (who has an absinthe called “Mansinthe”) to George Clooney (tequila, Casamigos, sold for around $1 billion) to Ron Jeremy (rum, Ron de Jeremy) has a line. The reasons to branch out into branded booze are pretty simple: the money is good, and the opportunity to extend your brand to segments of the population outside of your fan base is better. Can you imagine how many times someone’s said, surprised, “It’s actually really good!” about Clooney’s tequila? That translates to real dollars, friend.
FuckJerry’s stuff is called JAJA — pronounced “ha ha,” because “jaja” is an online laugh in Spanish and the tequila is distilled in Jalisco, Mexico — and it comes, for now, in a blanco and a reposado. (Blanco tequila is unaged, made from the fruit of the agave plant; reposado is also made from agave, but it’s aged between two and twelve months in oak barrels.) Because we’re curious about all things internet, The Verge’s culture team decided to try a bottle of the blanco — you know, for science. (Your faithful correspondent argued for the reposado, but was sadly overruled.) We drank it straight, because we aren’t quitters.
Our verdict: JAJA blanco is fine. It’s more or less comparable to José Cuervo’s offering, though it’s a bit smoother. It’s also a bit redundant — if a meme account was a liquor, it’d absolutely be tequila. In the pantheon of American alcohol culture, tequila has generally earned a singular, almost meme-like reputation: it’s a great night out, the kind of booze that gave us the Pinterest-y (Drake-y?) toast, “Here’s to the nights we don’t remember with the people we’ll never forget!” For many people, it’s also an agent of destruction — how many drinking stories have you heard that begin sane and end with tequila? It is, in short, an experience. Morally neutral, sure, but the agent of so much change. JAJA will get that job done, if you’re interested in getting drunk; it can be your agent of change, the thing that brings you closer together with your friends, family, co-workers, or local bartender — whoever’s around, really. And at its price point (from $34.99 to $54.99 for three quarters of a liter), that’s about all you can ask for.
Anyway, if you’re interested in memes, JAJA’s pedigree might be the only real difference between it and literally every other blanco at its price point. That’s fine! At least a taste can’t be stolen and reposted for tens of thousands of likes — although the JAJA logo sure does seem familiar.