The actress also reveals the best dish to eat with a glass of bourbon, and where she and Ashton Kutcher dine when they visit New York City.
Mila Kunis isn’t afraid of a strong drink. The actress, who has been a Jim Beam ambassador since 2014, began drinking brown spirits about five or six years ago—after giving up clear alcohol—and hasn’t looked back. Any brown liquor will do; she says she loves scotch, whiskey, rye, and, of course, bourbon—which she calls a “beautiful spirit.”
“My gateway was a very smoky scotch,” Kunis told Food & Wine last night at the New York City launch party for Jim Beam’s new vanilla flavor. “I stumbled into bourbon, and I was like ‘well this is damn great.’”
The actress’s love of bourbon led her to her partnership with Jim Beam, but she says that she hesitated to become a spokesperson for what she thought was a giant corporation. She came to find that Fred Noe, Jim Beam’s great-grandson, is the company’s current master distiller. Kunis decided to team up with the brand once she realized “there’s a family behind it.”
She doesn’t just believe in the brand’s family history though. Kunis actually drinks Jim Beam. In fact, one of their classic flavors, Jim Beam Apple, has become one of her favorites to sip on when she’s cooking.
“I mix it with soda and a little bit of lemon, and it’s super refreshing and crisp and I drink it when I cook dinner because it doesn’t overpower the taste of food for me. There’s something really wonderful about it,” she says.
Kunis, who used to work as a bartender, was tasked with creating her own cocktail with Jim Beam Vanilla. She came up with crisp, bright cocktail, the color of a dusky pink sunset, called “Mila’s Signature Cocktail.”
“I do 1 part Jim Beam Vanilla, 2 parts grapefruit juice, 1 part club soda. It’s a really good little balance. I can honestly say that was 100 percent me. We tried it with 7-Up, Sprite, we tried it with orange juice, apple juice—there’s something about the grapefruit that cut the sweetness of the vanilla,” she explains.
Not only is Kunis an expert cocktail maker (yes, I tried it, and yes, it is delicious) but she knows food, too. The actress calls herself a “huge foodie”, and thinks that bourbon pairs well with any dish.
“In my house bourbon goes with everything. My husband will say, ‘I’ll have this with lasagna.’ A good steak and bourbon go really well together, but so does a really nice salad. I think [bourbon] amplifies any meal that you’re having,” she says.
When the couple (Kunis is married to actor Ashton Kutcher, with whom she co-starred on That '70s Show) are visiting New York City, she says that they can appreciate both hole-in-the-wall as well as “really fancy” spots, specifically shouting out the restaurants on Chef’s Table. It turns out, she and Kutcher's taste in eateries is pretty good.
“My husband I, five years ago, stumbled into [Eleven] Madison Park before it was the number one restaurant in the world, and so we were like, ‘this place is great, people should really eat here'. Come to find out, we were not the only people who thought that,” she recalls.
Kunis’ new movie, Bad Moms 2, which comes out November 3, finds her character taking shots while Christmas shopping, and while we’re sure she doesn’t love bourbon that much in real life, there’s no doubt that the Jim Beam ambassador really is a devoted drinker of this much-beloved liquor.