Ian Somerhalder’s Shocking Memory Of His First Time Drinking May Be The Reason He Launched His Own Bourbon Brand
2023/09/02

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Ian Somerhalder And Paul Wesley Bonded Over Bourbon While Working On The Vampire Diaries

Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley played vamp-brothers Damon and Stefan Salvatore on The Vampire Diaries. While their bloodlust was captured onscreen, the pair had a taste for something far different behind the scenes: bourbon. Bourbon became a way that the actors could bond off-set. "So we could tolerate each other off-screen," Wesley joked in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "It became this thing we did on-screen and then off," the actor added. "We were shooting in the South, and I never really appreciated bourbon until I was living in Atlanta."

"We bonded on-screen with bourbon and bonded off-screen with bourbon. We always joke that the only way we could tolerate each other was to consume tremendous amounts of bourbon. And there's some truth to that because you spend 11 years with someone—and we have this company together; it's like a marriage. It's our longest relationship! After Vampire Diaries ended, we had more time to put together a team of experts and were able to properly develop Brother's Bond."

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It soon became a tradition between them and the catalyst for their eventual becoming co-founders of Brother's Bond Bourbon. Somerhalder, who was born in Louisiana, grew up surrounded by the culture of Southern whiskey. "I've been drinking bourbon for 25 years," Somerhalder said. "It pumps through my veins."

Wesley cited that they were "attached at the hip" while working on the Vampire Diaries, so much so they fought over wanting their characters to die together at the end of the series. While they may not have gotten their wish, their bond now stretches beyond the script and further deepens with Brother's Bond Bourbon in the midst of what they call their "2.0" phase of life. "This is gonna be another decade together," Somerhalder expressed.

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How Brother's Bond Bourbon Has Affected Ian Somerhalder And Paul Wesley's Acting Careers

Being co-founders of a newly launched bourbon brand certainly takes a lot of work, especially when maintaining a profession as an actor. The venture into the bourbon brand was completely new territory for Paul Wesley, who considers himself a novice. "I'm still learning the ropes. I consider myself to have an entrepreneurial mind, but I've never embarked on anything like this. Everything I've done is in the entertainment industry, whether it's producing, acting or directing. It's been an educational experience to say the least." he said in an interview with The Spirits Business.

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For Wesley, the Brother's Bond helps him balance his career in entertainment, especially with Ian Somerhalder by his side.

"What I do in the public, in entertainment, will feed into the story of the Bourbon. They're not in direct competition; it's about learning how to balance the two. I've done two projects since launching the Bourbon; it was tough but thankfully Ian was around. When Ian does something I cover for him. That's what's great about having a partner in the industry." Wesley said.

Somerhalder, on the other hand, has shifted his focus almost entirely to Brother's Bond and raising his child with wife Nikki Reed.

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"Honestly, I don't even have an acting career anymore; there's so much focus on this company and raising my child. I don't know when I'll be on-screen again. There's one show I want to do that I will produce and direct, write and star in. Honestly, I think that's probably it. One more show.".

Ian Somerhalder Was Four When Had His First Alcoholic Drink

It sounds farfetched, but Ian Somerhalder's first introduction to alcohol was when he was basically a toddler. Somerhalder had some sticky fingers when it came to booze. "I used to steal mint juleps from my family," the Vampire Diaries alum, now 44, told Page Six exclusively at a party for his and former co-star Paul Wesley's Brother's Bond Bourbon in Miami back in March 2023. "It was the early '80s, like '81."

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The actor, who grew up in Louisiana, said his family's property was always surrounded by sugar cane, which is one of the ingredients in mint juleps. According to Somerhalder, when he was "a little kid" bourbon was an integral part of the "culture" of the South.

"Those are the first memories I have of muddled mint, sugar cane and that smell of bourbon," the Lost alum said.

"Especially back then, there was no socioeconomics for bourbon, so someone who was an executive of a company is going to be drinking the same bourbon as someone who is a blue collar worker, so that was really amazing, sort of this level-playing field," he continued.

When asked at what exact age he used to steal booze from his folks he responded, "I'm sure it was 4" and shared that he definitely got caught red-handed a few times and was told to "put that down!"

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