The Man (and the Dog) Behind the Skull

If you walk down the aisle of a liquor store and get the feeling you’re being watched, not to worry, it is only a few lined-up skulls staring at you through hollow eye sockets.

No, you’ve not been teleported to Huey Tzompantli, you’re just in the vodka section. The skulls, made of glass that incorporates bits of crystal to ensure absolute clarity, are filled with Crystal Head Vodka.

Curiously, a skull-shaped bottle was used to contain the spirit because skulls are seen as a “symbol of life, reflecting power and enlightenment.”

We suspect that’s a catchy marketing line.

Further investigation suggests that Crystal Head distillers were inspired by the Thirteen Crystal Skulls Legend of the Mayans or Aztecs. As the lore goes, thirteen rock crystal skulls, said to possess mystical properties, were scattered across the globe, and when they are reunited, they will release all the wisdom they contain and herald the beginning of a new era.

Could it be now, please?  But we digress.

Unlike the ancient skulls, the skulls holding Crystal Head Vodka are made in Italy by Bruni Glass. It took over two years to perfect the process of making the skulls. As for the vodka, itself,  it is made from high-quality peaches and cream corn, distilled into a neutral grain spirit, and distilled four times. Then it’s blended with “pristine water” from Newfoundland. The vodka goes through a total of seven filtrations, three of which are through Herkimer diamonds (semi-precious quartz crystals). Other than consumer anecdotes, there’s no scientific evidence to support claims that vodka tastes better when it’s filtered with such crystals. 

We wonder if a field trip is in order. 

If we were to tell you that a famous actor played a pivotal role in the conception and development of the brand, and indeed, was one of the co-founders of Crystal Head Vodka, would you be surprised that it’s this guy? 

Maybe it was this guy:

Nah……must have been this actor:

Surprise! (not). All three clips show Dan Aykroyd in just three of his iconic film roles,  but in his spare time, Aykroyd, along with John Alexander, was involved in the decision to produce an additive-free vodka as a majority owner – and he had a say in the skull glass container. 

Akita, Dan Aykroyd, Crystal Head Vodka


The brand was the official vodka of the Rolling Stones’ 50th Anniversary Tour in 2013, and Aykroyd has actively promoted the brand through appearances and signings. When he posted a photo of himself on Instagram a year ago enjoying Crystal Head Vodka “the perfect way: On ice and with a companion,” that companion was an Akita.

There isn’t a lot of information about Aykroyd and his Akitas, but there is one other photo!

And now you now about those skulls!

Images of Crystal Head Vodka skullsm as well as photo of Dan Aykroyd with John Alexander at the 2011 Dino dig in Alberta, Canada, shared through a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license. Photo of Akita/Deposit Photo

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