Just in time for New York City's biggest Pride 2018 event on June 24, SMIRNOFF Vodka and Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness announced they have teamed up for the 2018 NYC Pride March. Because love wins, and love is thirsty. "SMIRNOFF is all about inclusivity and democratizing fun times for everyone, which totally speaks to me as a member of the LGBTQ community," Van Ness said in a press release.
SMIRNOFF first released its rainbow-colored "Love Wins" bottles in 2017 for its No. 21 Vodka, and is bringing the bottles back for a limited time to celebrate Pride 2018. What's more, starting in 2019, SMIRNOFF is donating $1 for every SMIRNOFF "Love Wins" bottle made to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) for a minimum of one million dollars over three years.
"Inclusivity is a part of our brand's DNA," Jay Sethi, vice president, SMIRNOFF, DIAGEO North America, said in the press release. "We have always believed that SMIRNOFF should be enjoyed by everyone, no matter what you look like, where you live, what your background is or who you love. We know how important it is to support LGBTQ efforts across the entire nation, which is why we are donating to the HRC through our 'Love Wins' bottles."
If you're not in the know, Van Ness — a celebrity hairstylist — is the star of the Emmy-nominated Gay of Thrones web series, the host of the Getting Curious podcast, and is currently starring in the Netflix reboot of Queer Eye. Van Ness's partnership with SMIRNOFF is part of his commitment to bring love in all its forms to life at the NYC Pride March, the press release noted.
"From dancing in the streets with SMIRNOFF drag queens to self-love selfies to strutting alongside marchers up Fifth Avenue, Van Ness will join the brand at the 2018 Pride March to encourage people everywhere to show their support for equality and love of all kinds."
Planning to enjoy some SMIRNOFF No. 21 "Love Wins" vodka during NYC Pride 2018? Make sure to toast love when the over-the-top SMIRNOFF float passes by. "In addition to Jonathan as our host, the brand will also host 200 marchers, electrifying special guests will be performing along the parade route to get the crowd excited and engaged," SMIRNOFF announced. "SMIRNOFF's Pride March celebration is meant to showcase that Pride comes in all different flavors, shapes, and colors."
If you're not in NYC, and you're having major FOMO, fear not. SMIRNOFF is also bringing its celebration of "Pride in Every Flavor" to Pride marches in San Francisco, Atlanta, San Diego, and more, according to the press release.
If you're not heading to a Pride parade this year, you can still taste the rainbow by mixing up your own SMIRNOFF "Love Wins" cocktail at home. Just mix 1.5 oz. SMIRNOFF No. 21 "Love Wins" vodka with .75 oz. simple syrup (a mixture of water and sugar), .75 oz. lemon juice, a dash of club soda, and add a strawberry garnish. Serve it up to your besties in a rainbow-colored glass to celebrate Pride 2018.
"While love is not meant to be bottled up, vodka sure is, so make sure to enjoy this limited-edition bottle responsibly," SMIRNOFF noted. Sip your "Love Wins" cocktail with the knowledge that you're making a difference by supporting LGBTQ+ rights.
"These crucial resources will help fuel the fight for LGBTQ equality and accelerate the pace of progress in the years ahead," HRC President Chad Griffin said in the press release. "We are grateful for SMIRNOFF's pledge to donate an additional one million dollars to the Human Rights Campaign, for their continued support of the LGBTQ community, and for those who put their passion for equality to work by making this campaign possible."
Because love always wins, and love should be appropriately celebrated. "I could not be more excited to join SMIRNOFF for this year's New York City Pride March. It truly is the ultimate celebration of love and equality for all, and once you add SMIRNOFF into the mix it becomes one big, fabulous, inclusive party," Van Ness said. "Who wouldn't want to be a part of that?!"
I think it's safe to say that everyone celebrating Pride 2018 wants to be a part of love and equality. Happy Pride 2018 my friendlies — don't forget to snap those self-love love-wins selfies. Because, Pride!