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Cîroc vodka.jpg
Cîroc Snap Frost Vodka
TypeVodka and flavored vodka
Country of originFrance
Proof (US)80 (vodka and brandy)
70 (flavored varieties)
VariantsSnap Frost (blue)
French Vanilla (beige)
Red Berry (red)
Coconut (silver)
Peach (orange)
Amaretto (brown)
Pineapple (yellow)
Apple (green)
Mango (pink)
Pink Grapefruit (pink)
Summer Colada [Limited] (gold)
Black Raspberry [Limited] (black)
Summer Citrus [Limited]
Summer Watermelon [Limited] (red)
Pomegranate [Limited] burgundy
White Grape (gold)

Cîroc is a brand of alcoholic beverages produced in France since 2003 and distributed by the British-based multinational alcoholic beverage maker Diageo.[1][2] The brand family includes vodka, flavored products containing vodka, and brandy. Since 2007, the marketing and promotion for Cîroc in the United States has been handled by Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs in an "equal-share venture" with profits from the brand being split between Combs and Diageo.[3]


The name "Cîroc" is a portmanteau of the French word cime, meaning peak or summit-top, and roche, meaning rock, a reference to the high-altitude vineyards of the Gaillac region where Mauzac grapes are grown (the 'î' in the Cîroc logo is the i-circumflex letter used in the French language.)[4][5]

Vodka production process[edit]

Cîroc's vodka is distinguished from nearly all other vodkas by being derived from grapes, rather than using grain, potatoes or maize (corn). It is distilled to a very high level of alcohol by volume (ABV) concentration – about 96% (roughly the practical limit of ordinary distillation practices due to the ethanol and water becoming an azeotrope mixture) and is not aged or flavored before being diluted with water to 40% ABV (80 U.S. proof) for bottling, and thus fulfills the criteria for labeling as vodka (which in the United States requires at least 95% distillation concentration and 40% ABV bottling concentration for vodka).[6]

The producer of Cîroc emphasizes its being distilled five times. The first four distillations use column stills and the final distillation is performed in a traditional copper pot still at the Distillerie de Chevanceaux.[7]

Flavored products containing vodka[edit]

Since 2010, the Cîroc brand has included a family of flavored drinks containing vodka. In the United States, these flavored beverages are bottled at 70 U.S. proof (35% ABV) – a lower ABV level than (unflavored) vodka, although much higher than that of a typical mixed drink. In the United States, the labels of these products say "made with vodka" rather than simply "vodka", although they are referred to as vodkas on the company website.[6][8]

The brand introduced two flavored varieties to the market in 2010: Red Berry and Coconut. In 2011, the company added a Peach flavor. In May 2013, Cîroc and Puff Daddy announced that a new flavor would be released called Cîroc Amaretto.[9] On 15 July 2014, Combs announced via his Instagram page that Cîroc Pineapple would be the next flavor. In 2015, he announced a green apple flavor,[10][11] in 2016 DJ Khaled was signed as another brand ambassador co-promoting a new mango flavor,[12] and in 2017 Puff Daddy announced a French vanilla flavor to be produced in partnership with hip-hop artist French Montana.[13] As of October 2021, the U.S. brand offerings include seven main-line flavor varieties: Mango, Apple, Pineapple, Red Berry, Coconut, Peach, and French Vanilla, and four "limited edition" varieties: White Grape, Summer Citrus, Summer Watermelon, and Pomegranate.[8]


Cîroc VS Brandy, bottled at 80 U.S. proof (40% ABV), was added to the brand family in June 2018.[14] It is a blend of aged French brandies, some of which is distilled in copper pot stills and aged in French oak.[14] A review in The Spirits Business said its taste profile has "'rich' notes of fresh fruit, vanilla and a hint of French oak".[14] In brandy production, "VS" is an abbreviation for "very special" and typically refers to a blend in which the youngest brandy has been aged for at least two years in a cask.[15]


Cîroc was founded in France by Jean-Sébastien Robicquet, whose family is from the wine-growing region of Bordeaux.[16][17] Robicquet, whose family has been in the wine and spirits business since the early 17th century, had studied winemaking in university before moving into spirits production.[16][18] 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.[16][17] 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.[16][17]


Marketing campaign history[edit]

When the brand was launched in 2003, NFL football player Earl Little was one of the first American brand ambassadors to promote the beverage in the U.S. market.[19] It was introduced to nightclubs and venues throughout the United States and marketed especially in cities such as Atlanta and Miami.

In 2007, Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs became a brand ambassador for the vodka brand, which had been struggling to sell 40,000 cases in its first few years on the market. In December 2007, the commercial for Cîroc had Sean Combs calling the drink the "official vodka of New Year's". Describing his ambassadorship of the brand, Combs sometimes jokingly refers to himself as "Cîroc Obama". Combs's brand evangelism improved sales substantially;[3] By 2014, the brand was selling more than two million cases per year.[19][20]

Following the success of the partnership, Combs and Diageo also co-purchased the DeLeón Tequila brand in December 2013.[21] Combs's ownership of the liquor brands is managed through his company Combs Enterprises, which also includes AquaHydrate bottled water and various non-beverage businesses.[22]

The Colangelo brand development company was involved in the development of brand positioning.[23] 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.[citation needed]

On 14 December 2011, the company 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 (Puff Daddy, Frank Vincent, Eva Pigford, Michael K. Williams, Aaron Paul, Dania Ramirez, Chrissy Teigen, and Jesse Williams) enjoying a festive night on the town.

Other artists such as DJ Khaled (added in 2016) and rapper French Montana (starting in 2017) have also been involved in the brand's development and marketing.

In 2020, Cîroc introduced a #CÎROCStands initiative, which encouraged voting in the 2020 United States elections and was expanded to promote Black-owned businesses and especially businesses owned by Black women.[24]

In Nigeria, Cîroc promoted fashion entrepreneur Ozinna Anumudu as its "newly unveiled member of the Cîroc circle" in September 2021.[25]

Lack of sponsorship disclosure[edit]

The brand's marketing on social media has come under criticism for a lack of adequate disclosure of paid promotional activities. In 2017, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent a letter to Puff Daddy and 45 other celebrities to remind them of legal requirements to properly disclose their paid sponsorships, and in early 2018 the Truth in Advertising watchdog organization (abbreviated TINA) sent a letter of complaint to DJ Khaled and Diageo expressing concerns about Cîroc. Later in 2018, TINA sent a letter of complaint to the FTC, pointing out the actions of 50 influencers that it said were in violation of disclosure requirements involving their promotion of the Cîroc brand. These influencers included Puff Daddy, DJ Khaled, French Montana, Alessandra Ambrosio, Cassie, Bow Wow, and Ashanti.[26] DJ Khaled later removed the problematic advertisements that he was involved with, which had included more than 300 promotions of Cîroc and other brands between June 2017 and March 2018.[27] TINA also complained that the brand's promotion activities included material likely to reach audiences who are under the legal drinking age.[26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Cîroc – Our Roots". Cîroc. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  2. ^ "How A Splash of Premium Vodka and 2 Parts Diddy Catapulted Cîroc". MadameNoire. 11 April 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  3. ^ a b Cleary, Andrew (30 October 2009). "Diageo Turns to Dutch, Diddy Partnerships for Vodka Expansion". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  4. ^ "Diageo.com – Ciroc". Archived from the original on 7 October 2010. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  5. ^ Connor, Jamie. "Cîroc". Prezi.
  6. ^ a b "United States Code of Federal Regulations 27 CFR 5.22(a) Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits".
  7. ^ "Brand Heritage and Distillation Process". Cîroc. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  8. ^ a b "Our Vodkas". Cîroc. Retrieved 7 October 2021.
  9. ^ "Ciroc And Diddy Reveal The Newest Flavor: Amaretto". The Source. 31 May 2013.
  10. ^ "Diddy's Luck Be A Lady Cîroc Commercial (extended version) [Video]". soulculture.co.uk. 21 December 2011.
  11. ^ "Buy Ciroc Pineapple from Azure Drinks". Azure Drinks.
  12. ^ Ketchum, William E. III (17 October 2016). "DJ Khaled Talks Becoming the Face of CÎROC Mango, Forthcoming Book & Love for Hillary Clinton". Billboard.
  13. ^ Diddy (10 August 2017). "Hip Hop Can Get Money Together!". YouTube. Archived from the original on 13 December 2021.
  14. ^ a b c Carruthers, Nicola (12 June 2018). "Cîroc vodka moves into brandy". The Spirits Business. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  15. ^ "All about Cognac – Reading a label". Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac. Archived from the original on 23 December 2016. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  16. ^ a b c d "My life in food: Jean-Sebastien Robicquet, founder, Cîroc vodka". Independent.co.uk. 15 August 2013. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  17. ^ a b c "Jean-Sebastien Robicquet: The genius behind Vodka". The Gleaner. 31 May 2013. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  18. ^ "Distilleride Chevanceauxin (Ciroc Distillery): Jean-Sébastien Robicquet". Difford's Guide. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  19. ^ a b Banks, Alec (2017). "How Diddy Became the Highest Paid Musician Without Releasing an Album". High Snobiety. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  20. ^ Heine, Christopher (17 November 2015). "Sean 'Diddy' Combs Is Rebranding Ciroc for the Millennial Mindset". Adweek. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  21. ^ "Sean 'Diddy' Combs buys premium tequila brand DeLeon with Diageo". The Guardian. 8 January 2014.
  22. ^ "Combs Enterprises". Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  23. ^ "CÎROC Vodka for All". Colangelo. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  24. ^ Gabbara, Princess (24 September 2021). "Meet The Marketing Pro Behind Diddy's Cîroc Vodka & DeLeón Tequila". Bustle. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  25. ^ "Ciroc unveils Ozinna in plush Summer Brunch Party". BellaNaija. 26 September 2021.
  26. ^ a b Notopoulos, Katie (12 December 2018). "Cîroc Ads By Diddy And Others Violate FTC Rules On Influencer Ads Once Again, An Advocacy Group Said". Buzzfeed News.
  27. ^ Marr, Madeleine (7 February 2019). "DJ Khaled was under fire about his alcohol use. So he did something about it". Miami Herald.

External links[edit]