VICKI GUNVALSON: Vicki’s New Vodka “Cougar Juice”… Back for Season Eight of RHOC…

June 28, 2012  

“A happy accident has led Calistoga’s Michael Nicholson to the edge of fame and enough fortune to realize his long-held dream of establishing a craft distillery in his hometown.

 Vicki Gunvalson, Michael Nicholson

A year ago, Nicholson, 31, debuted Cougar Juice Vodka and has had some success distributing it regionally. Earlier this year, he got a routine order for six bottles for a birthday party in Southern California.

Turns out, however, that the anonymous birthday girl wasn’t just anyone. It was Vicki Gunvalson, the star of “Real Housewives of Orange County,” the flagship of the “Real Housewives” series of reality shows on the Bravo TV network, partying with her friends and co-stars to celebrate her 50th birthday.

And she liked what she tasted.

“I liked the flavor of it,” she told The Weekly Calistogan this week, after wrapping up the seventh season of the successful show. “I liked the cleanliness of it.  It felt really natural.”   NOTE:  “It felt natural”… Did Vicki TASTE the vodka or use it as a body wash??

As it happened, Gunvalson was looking for an established vodka formula that she could buy into and add to her expanding roster of branded products. Cougar Juice tasted pretty good, she said, in her favorite drink: the blue cheese dirty martini, made with vodka and a blue cheese–stuffed olive.

“I’m always looking for the opportunity to brand myself,” said Gunvalson, who runs several businesses in addition to her television career and endorsing and putting her name on various products. “But I like to do things that I actually use and actually like.”

Now, just three months after she encountered the vodka, she owns it. Nicholson and Gunvalson finalized a deal earlier this month that gives her the vodka formula and the distinctive frosted-bottle packaging that Nicholson had been using. For his part, Nicholson will retain a partial interest in the product, which the pair hope to take national after a test run in Costco stores and other outlets in Southern California.

The vodka will be rebranded “Vicki’s Vodka.” It has already appeared on Bravo and will be featured on the “Real Housewives” season finale on July 3.

Nicholson won’t say how much the deal was worth, but he admits with a laugh that it is “more than I have made in 10 years.”

The windfall will allow him to pursue his real passion: bourbon. He is scouting several possible locations for a distillery in Calistoga.

He still owns the name “Cougar Juice” and may eventually apply it to a new vodka formula at his new distillery, though his main focus will be his bourbon and other whiskies.

Gunvalson she considered buying the name, but “it was a little too raw for me.”

“Cougar” is common slang for an older woman on the prowl for younger men. The name “excluded a lot of demographics or genders,” she said.

Both Gunvalson and Nicholson said their partnership turned from an unlikely-seeming match — a small-town Northern California boy and a Southern California celebrity — into a meeting of like minds.

“We have the same business sense,” she said. “He’s very focused and very passionate about what he does, and so am I.”

Gunvalson visited Calistoga several times during the negotiations and said she likes it. Should Bravo renew the show for another season, which has yet to be decided, she hopes to document her business partnership with Nicholson and film in Calistoga for at least several episodes.

“We’ll be there with the camera crew,” she said.


Vicki after drinking vodka…

23 comments on “VICKI GUNVALSON: Vicki’s New Vodka “Cougar Juice”… Back for Season Eight of RHOC…

  1. I wouldn’t want to buy anything that has a financial benefit for Vicki on the simple basis that it will eventually line Crook’s pockets.


    • Totally agree. And does the world really need another vodka? Glad she changed the name.Cougar Juice sounds nasty.


    • I totally agree with you except, I don’t want to line the pockets of a dumb broad like Icky-Vicki either.

      Also, Cougar juice is quite off putting but, Vicki’s Vodka???? Vain much? Unoriginal much? =)


      • I have a theory aobut the Cougar Juice name. Drink a few Cougar Juices = Beer Goggles on + look into mirror and think “whoah I’m a hot hic!… Ssssuper hic! Cougar… burp! …. hic!….. wooooo(stagger a bit)maaan”, locate nearest youngish guy who’s obviously lost his friends, flash the cash, take him home, scar him for life.

        That’s the image it gives me anyway lol ;)


  2. I can’t imagine anyone being interested in buying anything just because Vicki’s name is on it. All I would think of while drinking it is Vicki screeching, which would give me an automatic headache.


  3. The Bravo execs chose these desperate women, made them over with Dr. Terry who used to be on the Swan and gave them plastic teeth, horse hair extensions and lots of fillers, inflated lips and put a bottle of wine in their hands, let them sew up some shlock couture and some even became “recording artists” it’s like something from another universe


  4. “Vicki’s Vodka” will end up in her garage along with the stacks of unsold “Vicki Lynn Jeans” and unopened boxes of her self-published book. Assuming she doesn’t drink the entire inventory as soon as it arrives.


  5. I am surprised that such a smart business woman like Vicki wouldn’t have a no compete clause in her contract with Michael Nicholson, meaning he can’t produce another Vodka. I thought she was so smart!!! She says so herself!


    • Teresa may not be the smartest person, but she seems to have a sense about what people would buy. She must have good advisors, or people helping her out. And at least she comes up with catchy or clever product or book names. Vicki’s Vodka, wow, lame!


      • Don’t knock it, I’m bringing out ‘Bev’s Binbags’ and a new line in carrier bags called “Bev’s Bags”, super cheap and not bio-digradable. 3p each or will swap for .5 of a snickers bar and a glass of lemonade ;)


  6. Vicki vicki u r so funny in all u do .. I know ur seeing that in your
    pick of man now that the new is gone :) isn’t he a FINE one lmao….
    So now u got a liq.and call it Vicki vodka man now that
    is a vodka I want to put out at my dinner party’s get together’s
    it say no taste and no class yep that’s what I want
    my friends to think of me NOT and u didn’t get a no compete from this guy dan
    why don’t u just give the money to nanny and nic. And Kim
    at least they are own it from ur man … U have no smarts … I would be scared to have u taking care of my money:(. This guy can make a same taste vodka name it better and u have nothing dumb


  7. In all fairness I wont be around until RHOBH starts in Winter, so let OC girls kick off, I don’t watch the rest. Will miss posters but not the lyiing shite that comes from it xx


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