We’ve obviously binge-watched all of seasons one and two of Queer Eye enough to know that Jonathan Van Ness is truly iconic. The TV personality, hairdresser, web series star, and podcaster brings so much love, light, and expertise every time he shows up on screen in the homes of those who need the Queer Eye team most. On Sunday, June 24, JVN will bring all of his glowing personality to the Smirnoff Vodka float at the 2018 NYC Pride March to celebrate love in all forms and LGBTQA equality.
The Daily Meal was lucky enough to interview the former Gay of Thrones hairdresser extraordinaire about what he’s most excited for this Pride, his love for Smirnoff’s “Love Wins” cocktail and their major donation to the Human Rights Campaign, his favorite summer flavors, and what drink each cast member of Queer Eye would be.
Van Ness is ready for 2018 pride — he’s excited not only about dancing and having fun while wearing a smart chunky heel that won’t hurt his feet after 3 hours on a parade float, but also about Smirnoff’s million-dollar gift to the Human Rights Campaign.
“Not to steal Cardi B’s words, but ‘million-dollar checks…. yes I’m signing,’” the Illinois native joked. “I’m definitely excited for a million-dollar donation to the HRC on behalf of Smirnoff by 2021; that’s just really real money that can help further our causes. I love that. With these limited-edition Smirnoff Love Wins bottles, for every bottle that’s made Smirnoff will donate a dollar to HRC.” The Love Wins packaging features 34 real LGBTQA couples from across the U.S.
While Van Ness is a huge fan of a refreshing beverage, citing cranberry vodkas and Moscow mules as summer drink favorites, the Smirnoff partner is especially big on the “Love Wins” cocktail created with Smirnoff’s No. 21 vodka. “I love anything refreshing and gorgeous for summer, and what’s really giving me summer life right now is a little Love Wins cocktail, because she’s simple and when I have people over I really can’t make a million things,” Van Ness divulged to The Daily Meal.
“I wish I was a gorgeous mixologist, but that was not my god-given strength,” he joked. “So, with the Love Wins cocktail, it’s just four simple ingredients to get me to where I need to be with my friends. You just take a little Love Wins No. 21 vodka, and a little lemon juice, and if you really want to get citrusy you could put in a little bit of lime — if you’re really feeling like a Sprite-mome [JVN for “moment”] — and then a little club soda and a little simple syrup. That’s my go-to at-home Pride drink.”
The citrus-y beverage also happens to be what he would choose to be if he were a cocktail. It’s zesty and refreshing — just like Van Ness — but he says that he would be the “Love Wins” cocktail because “Smirnoff stands for inclusivity and that’s what she is, and the Love Wins campaign is all about that. I’m a big proponent of all love winning and love just being fab.”
But if he was going to get extra-personal — he would add some sort of slushie-type ice to add some real Jonathan flair. “I love a little mini-crushed iced thing. I’m so creative I can’t even handle it. Antoni would be so proud of me,” he told us.
Van Ness also revealed what he thought the rest of the Queer Eye cast would be if they were drinks. He decided that leader Karaomo would be a Moscow mule, because he is so “sunshine-y”; Bobby “could be a lemon-y cocktail”; fashion-expert Tan is “kind of sassy and [he] loves that about him” so JVN selected something “sassy-ish”; and Antoni “is something really smiley and sweet.”
“I am really demonstrating to you what a not-natural mixologist I am right now,” Van Ness said with a laugh. Might we suggest Antoni as a vodka-cran?
Want to create a summer drink with friends mome? Picking out an easy drink recipe is just one of the 50 things you need to do this summer.