RON JEREMY IS A PORN STAR. But you knew that already, didn’t you? No? Well, the moustachioed face looking back at you is the acceptable end of the biggest star in the porn game over the past 35 years. Or, to borrow his own charming description: “The hardest (working) man in porn”.
You might wonder how Drinks International fits in with all this; you may equally wonder how this man ever got a job that requires no clothes. Well, all will be revealed. But for those without a gapingly open mind, safety is just a closed web page away. For the rest, this is the story of how one drinks journalist met Ron Jeremy.
“Hi Ron, how are you?” “Nine and three-quarter inches,” he replies, throwing his hand out as quickly as he lowered the tone. To be expected, you might say. After all, the Panama-produced, Finnish-owned, porn star-endorsed rum brand Ron de Jeremy is billed as The Adult Rum. Irreverence is part of the package.
“My friend tells me there’s a Playboy party tonight,” continues Jeremy. “We need to get some media over there. What celebrities are here? Is Pamela Anderson in town?” These are not questions directed at me but at brand co-founder Olli Hietalahti and UK distributor Justin Berkmann of Spirit Cartel. Still, the thought of Playboy Club’s immaculately mannered Salvatore Calabrese conversing with Ron Jeremy has me sufficiently occupied.
Sitting next to me, Jeremy is wearing a T-shirt displaying a Che Guevara-inspired silhouetted image of his own head. At the business end of his portly frame, he is sporting tracksuit bottoms with a Ron Jeremy-the-video-game-character motif, and on his left hand a Ron Jeremy ring. “There’s only one thing worse than having my face on my shirt and that’s having my face on a ring,” declares Jeremy when his sartorial selection is broached. “Now that I come to think of it, nothing I’m wearing is my own... I don’t pay for a damn thing.”
The conversation is steered in the direction of rum. How did it come about? “Two idiots from Finland, sorry, Olli and Jouko [Laune Jouko, the third business partner] approached me. They told me they needed a Ron to represent their rum, because Ron is rum in Spanish. But Ronald Reagan died; Ronald McDonald is making hamburgers and Ronald Howard is making movies,” jokes Jeremy. “So basically there was no-one left except me, so I said OK, and we had a deal and I licensed my name. In the past 35 years I have had rolling papers, T-shirts, beef jerky, hot sauce, skateboards, cigars, watches, all with my name on, but I’ve never been involved in alcohol in my life.”
Jeremy may have the look and reputation of a party man, but alcohol is not one of his vices. “I’m probably the straightest guy in Hollywood. I love rum but I’m not a very good drinker. I look at a rum, think ‘that looks nice’, and fall asleep. But if I’m wide awake and have had plenty of sleep I love having a bit of alcohol, getting tipsy and having fun.”