Cîroc Snap Frost
|Country of origin||France|
|Variants||Snap Frost (Blue), Red Berry (Red), Coconut (Silver), Peach (Orange), Amaretto (Brown), Pineapple (Yellow)|
|Related products||List of vodkas|
Cîroc is a brand of eau-de-vie vodka, made in France from fine French grapes, produced and distributed by the British-based multinational alcoholic beverage maker Diageo. The world's largest producer of spirits, Diageo, also owns the leading vodka brand Smirnoff and a 50% venture in the Dutch vodka brand Ketel One. Since 2007, marketing and promotion for Cîroc in the United States has been handled by Sean "Diddy" Combs in an "equal-share venture" with the proceeds from Cîroc being split between promotional partner Combs and manufacturing partner Diageo.
The name "Cîroc" is a combination of the French word cime, meaning peak or summit-top, and the French word roche, meaning rock. A reference to the high-altitude vineyards of the Gaillac region where the Mauzac grapes are grown.
According to Diageo, Cîroc is distinguished from other vodkas as it is derived from grapes, rather than using grain or potatoes. Since they distill the product at 96% and do not age it, it fulfills the qualities of a vodka. The production method used for Cîroc vodka are "snap frost" grapes; Mauzac Blanc from the Gaillac region of France, and Ugni Blanc from the Cognac region. The juice extracted from these grapes is fermented.
Although all vodkas are distilled, the manufacturers of Cîroc emphasize theirs being distilled five times. The first four distillations of the Ugni Blanc take place in stainless steel column stills; the Mauzac Blanc grapes are distilled in copper continuous stills. These are distilled as far as 96.5% and 93.5%, then blended together, with 95% being Ugni Blanc and 5% being Mauzac Blanc. The final distillation is performed in a traditional Armagnac style copper pot still.
Cîroc was founded in France by Jean-Sebastien Robicquet, whose family hails from the wine-growing region of Bordeaux. Robicquet, whose family has been in the wine business for 400 years dating back to the 17th century, had studied winemaking in university before moving into spirits instead. Having worked for French cognac-maker Hennessy for ten years, he was approached by the British-based Diageo – which owns a 34% stake in Hennessy – to produce a vodka made from grapes as opposed to grain or potato common among most vodka. Jean-Sebastien Robicquet is recognized as a "Commander of Bordeaux" by the Great Council of Bordeaux for his accomplishments in the field of wine/liquor.
Brand and marketing
Initially launched for the North American market in 2003, NFL footballer Earl Little was one of the first American brand ambassadors to promote Cîroc to appeal to the brand's intended urban clientele. It was introduced to nightclubs and venues throughout the United States, and marketed especially so in regions such as Atlanta and Miami.
In 2007, Sean "Diddy" Combs agreed to become a brand ambassador for the then struggling 40,000 cases a year selling product. In December 2007, the commercial for Cîroc had Sean Combs calling Cîroc the "Official Vodka of New Year's." Describing his ambassadorship of the brand, Combs sometimes jokingly refers to himself as "Cîroc Obama." Combs has improved sales; Cîroc's parent company Diageo has reported 2.1 million cases sold as of December 2012 making it the second ultra premium vodka in the world. Brand Development agency Haines McGregor are responsible for Global research, positioning and identity development for Cîroc. The work included the development of brand guidelines and growth driver tool-kits for all markets.
Ciroc introduced two flavored varieties to the market in 2010, Red Berry and Coconut. In 2011, Cîroc added a Peach flavor and has been described as the most successful North American Diageo product launch ever. In May 2013, Ciroc and Diddy announced that a new flavor would be released called Ciroc Amaretto. 
On December 14, 2011 Cîroc began airing a "Luck Be a Lady" advertising campaign for Ultra Premium Vodka, directed by Anthony Mandler. The ads feature a group of elegantly dressed friends (Diddy and his fellow makers of Cîroc Ultra Premium, Frank Vincent, Eva Pigford, Michael K. Williams, Aaron Paul, Dania Ramirez, Chrissy Teigen, and Jesse Williams) enjoying a festive night on the town in "Sin City", rolling big and hitting the jackpot in scenes reminiscent of the original Rat Pack, with a recording of Frank Sinatra singing "Luck Be a Lady" playing throughout the commercial as mood music. Brand ambassador Sean "Diddy" Combs" has said, "The Rat Pack defined the art of celebrating in style. I cannot imagine a Spirit more suitable for commemorating life with family and friends than CÎROC; a brand that has become synonymous with celebratory occasions.” On July 15, 2014, Sean Combs announced via his instagram page that pineapple will be the new flavor of Cîroc. 
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