We Drank Jim Beam Bourbon With Mila Kunis

Hey, what’s up? Sorry… what’s that? Who spent the afternoon chatting and drinking with actress Mila Kunis? Oh, that’s right, I did. You know Kunis — the Ukrainian-born, Tyler Durdenesque ballerina in “Black Swan” ( that scene with Natalie Portman) and No. 2 on last year’s AskMen’s Top 99 Women (No. 26 this year? What were we thinking, men?). This month it was announced she’s signed on to become the first-ever global brand spokesperson for Jim Beam’s portfolio of whiskies. That’s how I ended up in an old-timey drawing room on the third floor of a townhouse, alone with Kunis. We discussed bourbon and booze, along with her upcoming movie Jupiter Ascending and that awkward-tastic viral interview with BBC reporter Chris Stark.

AskMen [AM]: We’re going to focus on the bourbon first, because we love spirits.

Mila Kunis [MK]: I like that you called it “spirits” — good job.

AM: First of all, “Global” Brand Spokesperson. No responsibility there.

MK: [laughs]

AM: You’ve done three new commercials tied in to Beam’s new “Make History” campaign, set to begin airing soon. Can you give a sense what else your responsibilities are going to entail?

MK: I don’t think I can divulge, because we’re still in the process of figuring out the logistics of everything. But I’ll tell you it’s a great company because they want to work with you and want you to feel like you’re a part of the company. They’re incredibly collaborative. I hope we can do a bunch of great, fun things in the future. [Editor’s note: According to a press release from the company, “Kunis will also be featured in retail materials and content on Jim Beam’s website, Facebook and Twitter.”]

AM: When were you first tied in with Beam?

MK: We shot the ads a while back, maybe December. So we started to work together, like, six months ago. [Editor’s note: Beam’s master distiller, Fred Noe, told us later that, “You can tell how serious she was about the whole thing: Before anything was signed, sealed or delivered, she came down to Kentucky to learn about the process and check things out.”]

We Drank Jim Beam Bourbon With Mila Kunis

AM: Were you a bourbon drinker before that?

MK: Yeah, I’ve been drinking bourbon for probably four years now [she’s 30].

AM: Do you have a favorite way to drink it?

MK: I like a little Jim Beam Black Label on the rocks. But sometimes, I won’t lie, I like me a little bit of Jim Beam Honey, because it’s just a little sweet. But always on ice, for sure. A big chunk of ice.

AM: Since you are a bourbon drinker and there are so many women drinking whiskey these days, do you think that might be part of your mission? To make it known that women drink bourbon?

MK: I’m not out there screaming that women are drinking bourbon, but I think it’s a great beverage as an option. I’ve got nothing against drinking a Cosmo or Martini. It’s not like one is judging the other. It’s just delicious and slow and steady, and there’s something about sipping a bourbon that to me is very relaxing.

AM: Since you’re a bourbon girl… A guy’s in a bar: Can he still buy a drink for a woman?

MK: Absolutely.

AM: What’s the best way to do that? Should he guess?

MK: Ask the waiter what she’s having. No guessing. Because you also don’t want to assume that she’s drinking alcohol. Sometimes she’s drinking water. But I think it’s great. Chivalry is not dead and you should be a gentleman. But if you are going to buy a girl a drink, buy it. Don’t just offer it. Follow through.

AM: In addition to bourbon on the rocks, do you have a favorite bourbon cocktail?

MK: They’re all downstairs, honestly [following the interview, Bill’s Food & Drink was celebrating with three drinks: Black ‘n Rocks, Jacob’s Ghost and Soda, and a Makin’ History Whiskey Sour]. But when I was in Kentucky, Fred’s wife made me a Whiskey Sour which was delicious [she later admitted she had two]. I like the Penicillin, which is whisky, honey, lemon juice and ginger beer.

AM: You know the Penicillin is a New York City invention.

MK: No!

AM: Yep. Sam Ross, who was with Milk & Honey at the time, created it [the original features single malt or blended scotch with a rinse of smoky Islay Scotch whisky].

MK: You’re the first person today who’s not only heard of the cocktail, but actually knew where it came from! I should go and have one.

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