Siragusa joins celebrity vodka parade

As the long-ago entertainer and actor Jimmy Durante used to say, "Everybody wants to get into the act."

From well-known to nearly-anonymous people, that certainly is true in the world of commercial vodka.

The latest celebrity to get behind a new vodka is former pro footballer Tony Siragusa (right), seen regularly on cable TV's "Man Caves" shows and strolling the sidelines as a commentator for National Football League games.

Iconic Brands Inc., headquartered in Lindenhurst, Long Island, today formally announced a product Siragusa already mentioned on sports talk radio -- YO Vodka, by Tony Siragusa.

YO? Yep. With a capital O. It will be available in six flavors: gooseberry -- a nod to Siragusa's "Goose" nickname, black cherry, orange, grape, root beer and Damiana.

Damiana? Yep, with a capital D. It's an herbal shrub native to Mexico and Central and South America and, in some forms, is considered an aphrodisiac of sorts. That's probably why all the flavors are infused with it.

YO is expected to be available nationally by April.

Siragusa played in the NFL for a dozen years, and was a starting lineman for the Baltimore Ravens when they won Super Bowl XXXV.

Of course, celebrity vodka isn't the only new stuff coming on the market. Tiny craft distillers keep joining the flood.

One of the newest is Ghost Vodka Detroit, cooked up by two Dearborn, MI, residents to honor their state. Every ingredient, plus the bottle design, is from Michigan.

Jim Burgess and Kelly Callahan, who are a couple, are making their vodka from red wheat, two row barley and corn purchased from Michigan farmers They have partnered with Valentine Vodka in Webberville, MI, for bottling and distilling. The bottles are designed by a company from Grand Rapids.

The name? Burgess said that's a nod to the proliferation of all kinds of shows about ghosts on TV, and his own past association with ghost hunter teams. In fact, he is so wrapped up in all things ghost that he is inviting anyone with a ghost story to share it on his business website.

I suppose that shoots down my theory that he was referring to the current status of financially bereft Detroit, now a modern ghost town of sorts.

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