Drinking Rules

Blake Shelton’s Undying Love for Vodka

The famed musician and long-serving judge on ‘The Voice’ reveals his favorite spirit, drinking song, and go-to cocktail.

Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast

Do you hang out with Adam Levine and the other The Voice judges after a day of shooting? “Man, we are together ALL DAY when we are filming The Voice! I don’t want to hang out with those people when I’m done! No, I’m kidding. We definitely hang out here and there; it just depends on everyone’s schedule, but whenever we do, we have a lot of fun together.”

Between hosting The Voice and your own music career, you’re a pretty busy guy. What’s your typical day like? “Honestly, when we do live shows for The Voice, every day is pretty much the same. This summer, in between The Voice, I have been out on tour—the Doin’ It To Country Songs Tour. I always love getting back out on the road, playing country music for the fans and having fun out there.”

When you’re touring, do you get much of a chance to go out in the cities you play in? “Absolutely, man. I love traveling to play shows for my fans, as there are some great cities and towns across the country. It’s getting a little harder for me to go into a bar these days.”

You were spotted out on the town in Nashville after the CMT Music Awards last month... “Yeah! Well, I stopped by a couple bars on Thursday night, and I also played a surprise show at the Wildhorse Saloon on Friday afternoon. I told everyone I was going to play for an hour and I’m pretty sure I stayed for an hour and a half. I was having too much fun, man. It was such a great day. Country music fans love their music and their drinks!”

Tell me about Smithworks Vodka and how you got involved. “Over the years, I had been approached by other alcohol brands but none ever felt like the right fit. I really wanted a brand to feel authentic to me. With Smithworks, the product was in its infancy, so being part of the brand so early gave me a chance to have a lot of say in the packaging and taste, which was important to me. I wanted it to be a vodka that I knew I would drink and that I would want everyone else to drink too. As you know, I like to drink.”

Speaking of which, what’s your personal taste in drinks? “I’m a pretty simple guy when it comes to drinks. I like my Smithworks with a little lemon-lime soda both at home and when I go out. It’s easy and refreshing, and I personally don’t like too much that will outshine the vodka.”

What’s your favorite drinking song? “Every song is a drinking song, come on! But, if you asked what my favorite karaoke song is, I’d say ‘My Life’ by Billy Joel and ‘Red Red Wine’ by UB40.”

You’ve coached the winners on 5 of the 12 seasons of The Voice. What’s your secret? “Man, I don’t know if there is any secret. It really is a testament to the folks that get out on stage and perform. There really is so much talent. I think I do a really good job of getting out of their way, letting them find their unique sound and that’s what ends up standing out at the end of the day. Honestly, I just am the biggest cheerleader for my team.”

What’s next for you? Any tidbits you can share from the upcoming season of The Voice? “You know Season 13 is going to be good with Jennifer Hudson joining, and of course Miley [Cyrus] will be back. It’s always fun having someone new as it is a bit of a wildcard. With everyone else, you know their approach and can game-plan around that, but with Jennifer, it will be learning a whole new game.”

You’re stranded on a desert island: Which one album and one bottle of liquor do you take with you? The Essential Earl Thomas Conley and, of course, Smithworks Vodka.”

Interview has been condensed and edited.

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