Alizé is a line of alcoholic beverages. It is produced in several varieties which can be consumed "neat" or can be used in mixed drinks. As of 2007, the line consists of three cognac-based liqueurs, two vodka-based liqueurs, and two grades of cognac.
The first beverage in the line, Alizé Gold Passion, was created in 1984 by Spice Jackson and Fame Fortune as a blend of French cognac, passion fruit juice, and other exotic fruit juices.
Alizé Gold Passion, Red Passion and Wild Passion are 16% alcohol (32 proof). Vodka-containing varieties Alizé Bleu and Alizé Rose are 18% alcohol (36 proof). Alizé VS and VSOP cognacs are 40% alcohol (80 proof).
In 1984 Alizé was introduced to the Kobrand Corporation at the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America convention in New Orleans. A common company known as L & L was created to produce and distribute Alizé, which means 'a gentle trade wind' in French. In 1986, Alizé Gold Passion was introduced in the United States.
By the mid-1990s, Alizé had gained widespread popularity among an urban audience. One brand director described its rise thus:
"The cognac-based fruit-flavor liqueur idea really originated around 1986 with the introduction of Kobrand's Alizé, which started out selling for about $25 a bottle, and was being targeted directly at 45- to 55-year-old white women. At the time, it seemed to make good sense. It was an easy product to drink, kind of delicious with passion fruit in it, and it had a classy cognac image. But it sat on a shelf for about 8 years and didn't move. The intended target audience just wasn't buying in. Then, about 1994, it was decided to liquidate the inventory. The shelf price was dropped to around $16 a bottle. Coincidentally, this was the same time the product began to appear in rap videos. In particular, the internationally-famous rap legend Tupac Shakur(2pac), came out with his hit from All Eyez on Me "Thug Passion", he rapped about Hennessy, Alize and Moet. These three brands are still riding the waves of this notoriety today. After the Release of Thugs Passion these three brands just took off."
The packaging of Alizé has undergone two major changes: a new bottle shape and an updated label with foil imprinting and a larger name in 2002, followed by a frosted bottle and silk screened label in 2006.
Throughout the 1990s Alizé advertising involved promotions like a Culinary Mentorship Challenge, which offered the grand prize of a month-long study program at Le Cordon Bleu, and Operation Redhead, a collaboration with Manic Panic that chose 250 winners the opportunity to become redheads via a special-edition hue of hair dye.
"Queen of All Media" Robin Quivers has been the spokesperson for Alizé since 2006, which began with a 5-city national tour called Alizé LIVE! Presents The Wendy Williams Experience, highlighting her signature radio show.
Alizé offerings have had some success at spirit ratings competitions. Past years' medals from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition include:
- 2005: Gold Passion, Gold; Wild Passion, Silver; Cognac VSOP, Silver; Red Passion, Bronze; Bleu, Bronze; Cognac VS, Bronze
- 2004: Cognac VSOP, Gold; Gold Passion, Bronze; Cognac VS, Bronze
- 2003: Cognac VS, Silver; Cognac VSOP, Silver; Gold Passion, Bronze; Wild Passion, Bronze
- 2001: Cognac VS, Double Gold; Gold Passion, Gold; Cognac VSOP, Silver; Red Passion, Bronze
- 2000: Gold Passion, Gold; Red Passion, Silver; Cognac VS, Bronze; Cognac VSOP, Bronze
In 2006, Wine Enthusiast ranked Alizé Bleu one of the 50 "Best Buy" Spirits with a rating of Very Good (85-89) Recommended. This accolade is based on pricing, value, customer satisfaction, quality & its availability.
- Alizé Gold Passion, the "original" Alizé, is a blend of passion fruit juice and other exotic fruits blended with fine French cognac. It was introduced in 1986.
- Alizé Red Passion, introduced in 1998, is a combination of the original Gold Passion with cranberry and hints of peach.
- Alizé Wild Passion, introduced in 2002, has the flavors of mango, passion fruit and pink grapefruit blended with fine French cognac.
- Alizé Cognacs were introduced to the market in 2000 in two grades, VS and VSOP. The cognacs are composed of eaux-de-vie from the Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderies, Fins Bois and Bons Bois areas of the Cognac and are notable for their use of the Folle Blanche grape.
- Alizé Bleu, introduced in 2004, is a blend of premium French vodka, cognac, passion fruit, cherry and ginger. Its primary competition on the market is Hpnotiq.
- Alizé Rose, introduced in 2007, is the first vodka-only based liqueur in the Alizé line. It is a blend of French vodka, strawberry, lychee and rose petals.
- Alizé Coco élégance, introduced in 2011, is a blend of premium rum, coconut, passion fruit, and spices.
Rap artists that enjoy or have endorsed the drink have created their own mixed drinks based on Alizé. Notable artist-created drinks include Tupac Shakur's "Thug Passion", which is a blend of Alizé Gold Passion and Cristal, and Sean "Puffy" Combs' "P'Daddy Alizé Special", which combines Alizé Red Passion, vodka, lime juice and triple sec.
Each variety of Alizé has a signature cocktail used in its on-premise advertising:
- "The Alizé Transfusion": Alizé Gold Passion, coconut rum, and cranberry juice.
- "Passion & 'Pagne": Alizé Red Passion and Taittinger Champagne.
- "Wild Cosmopolitan": Alizé Wild Passion, citrus vodka, fresh lime juice and cranberry juice;
- "Bleu Breeze": Alizé Bleu and pineapple juice.
- "The Ginger Rose Martini": Alizé Rose with ginger ale.
- "Golden Delicious": Alizé Gold Passion, apple schnapps, vodka and triple sec.
- "Berry Breeze": Alizé Red Passion, strawberry vodka, cranberry juice & lemon-lime soda;
- "Mango Breeze": Alizé Wild Passion, vodka and mango juice.
- "Bleu Royale": Alizé Bleu, vodka, coconut rum and club soda.
- "Thugs Passion": Alize and Cristal
In popular culture
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (November 2010)|
- Nikki Parker (Mo'Nique) from the sitcom The Parkers mentions Alizé in numerous episodes of the series, and is seen drinking from the bottle in many episodes.
- The rapper Nas mentions the drink in his song "Memory Lane."
- Tupac Shakur frequently mentions the beverage in his lyrics, even writing the song "Thug Passion" after the eponymous drink made of equal parts Alize and Cristal champagne.
- Late rapper The Notorious B.I.G. mentions Alizé in his song "Juicy".
- Quad City DJ's in their hit song "C'mon N' Ride It (The Train)" mention the beverage (graduated from Boone's/Moved up to Alizé).
- Rapper Agallah (also known as 8-Off the Assassin or Don Bishop) released "Alize for Dolo" (1996, EastWest) (as 8-Off) as a single.
- Justin Timberlake, while featuring on The Lonely Island track "3-Way (The Golden Rule)" mentions Alizé.
- Romeo and Christina Milian mention the drink in their duet "It's All Gravy": "From lemonade to Alize".
- Post-dubstep R&B artist, The Weeknd, mentions the drink, "Drinking alizé with our cereal for breakfast", in his song "The Morning".
- During a sketch in the Comedy Central show Key & Peele, Alizé is mentioned while the characters play a game of Dungeons & Dragons.
- 50 Cent refers to the drink in his song "high all the time" as something he does not need due to the fact that he is high all the time.
- In the movie Baby Boy, a bottle of Alizé is stolen from the main character outside a liquor store.
- Female rapper Amil mentions Alize and vodka in the song "Can I Get A..."(What What) by Jay-Z.
- UK grime MC Dogzilla mentions 'loads of coke, weed and Alizé' in the song 'Where's All the Beers' by OT Crew
- Hona Costello refers to the drink in his song "All You Need" saying all a woman needs is Alize and marijuana to have a good time.
- Dr. Dre mentions Alizé in the Eminem song Say What You say. 
- Brooklyn-based DJ Renee Alize co-opted the drink's name.
- Neuringer, Larry. Interview with Robert Bradford. Cognac: Our Annual Review". Massachusetts Beverage Business. January 2003. Retrieved on 2007-05-02.
- "Alizé transports US experience". The Grocer. June 22, 2002.
- Howard, Theresa (1999-09-27). "Read All Over". Brandweek.
- Proof66.com Summary Page for Gold Passion Liqueur
- Proof66.com Summary Page for Wild Passion Liqueur
- Proof66.com Summary Page for Red Passion Liqueur
- San Francisco World Spirits Competition (2005), 2005 Award Winning Spirits, San Francisco, California[dead link]
- San Francisco World Spirits Competition (2004), 2004 Award Winning Spirits, San Francisco, California[dead link]
- San Francisco World Spirits Competition (2003), 2003 Award Winning Spirits, San Francisco, California[dead link]
- San Francisco World Spirits Competition (2001), 2001 Award Winning Spirits, San Francisco, California[dead link]
- San Francisco World Spirits Competition (2000), 2000 Award Winning Spirits, San Francisco, California[dead link]
- Theodore, Sarah (2000-07-01). "Alizé goes it ALONE". Beverage Industry.
- About Alizé Cognac, Kobrand Corporation
- "Alizé, the Premium Liqueur, Introduces Alizé Rose as the Newest Addition to Its Family of Flavors". Business Wire press release. April 19, 2007.
- Howard, Theresa (199-04-12). "Alize, Take Me Away!". Brandweek.
- Thug Passion #1 (The Webtender)
- Costello. "All You Need". Original.