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|Country of origin||US|
|Alcohol by volume||17%|
Hpnotiq 'liqueur' is an alcoholic beverage, native to New York but bottled in France by Heaven Hill Distilleries, made from fruit juices, vodka and cognac. It is 34 proof (17% ABV) and is available in over 70 countries worldwide.
Hpnotiq was created in 2001 by Raphael Yakoby, a young entrepreneur and college dropout living with his parents on Long Island, New York, who, after seeing a blue perfume at Bloomingdale's, decided to create a blue liqueur.
Nick Storm, a Yonkers, N.Y., native who had spent six years in the music industry and met Yakoby through a common friend, partnered with him to promote it. Yakoby and Storm failed to sell the concept to major beverage manufacturers so, running out of money, the two took the drink to the streets by pestering the city's clubs and bars to sell it through a series of promotional events and parties which utilized Storm's music industry contacts. The big break came when hip hop impresario Sean "Diddy" Combs agreed to sell the drink in his restaurant chain Justin's in New York. Within a year, it was a popular drink in New York night clubs.
Urban and hip-hop groups began to promote the brand in music videos, on stage, and in rap lyrics like Kanye West, R. Kelly, Ludacris, Missy Elliot, Jay-Z, Lil’Kim, Fabulous, and Diddy. One person that was instrumental in the drink's growth is the hip-hopper Fabolous, who mentioned it in at least four songs on his album, "Street Dreams." On his 2002 hit single "This Is My Party", Fabolous started his first verse with the following words: "Ain't no tellin' what this Hpno' will do to me." The legendary green cocktail "Incredible Hulk", so-named for its color being reminiscent of the famous comic book hero, eventually came about at a Hpnotiq launch party at one of Combs' Justin's restaurants.
The brand was originally distributed by Wingard Inc. of Great Neck, New York; in January 2003, Yakoby's trademark and the distribution rights were acquired by Heaven Hill Distilleries. The brand earned Yakoby a reported $50 million. Hpnotiq is bottled in France's Cognac region and the vodka is premium, French, and distilled three times. It is the fourth best-selling imported liqueur in the United States, according to Adams Beverage Media.
Hpnotiq also produces a second product called "Harmonie", which is purple.
In September 2015, Hpnotiq launched a new advertising campaign entitled "#Since2001”, named after the year that Hpnotiq was created. Heaven Hill, Hpnotiq’s parent company, partnered with New York-based consumer marketing agency Team Epiphany to create the campaign, which enlisted rapper Cam’Ron, visual artist Naturel, rapper and visual artist Yung Jake, and New York-based DJ and entrepreneur Va$htie Kola to help bring attention to new themes and content inspired by the year 2001.
- Straker, Wendy (May 21, 2007). "This Self-made Liqueur Entrepreneur is in the Pink". New York Post. Archived from the original on June 10, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-22.
- "'Hpnotiq' Hype". Retrieved 2015-09-22.
- "Heaven Hill acquires distribution rights for Hpnotiq". Business First. January 3, 2003. Retrieved 2009-04-22.
- Brands, Heaven Hill. "Hpnotiq Unites Hip-Hop Artist Cam'ron, Artist Naturel, Artist/Rapper Yung Jake And DJ Va$htie For #SINCE2001". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved 2015-09-22.