Cognac and Hiphop…horse and carriage. You know what I mean, they get along just fine. In the mid ’90s, rappers like Tupac and Digital Underground started expressing their spirit of choice was Cognac, and more specifically the brand Hennessy. Despite several other brands having been named and ‘promoted’ in songs and videoclips, Hennessy was and still is the most loved brand of Cognac in this scene. Besides that, it also the world’s number 1 luxury spirit-brand (41.1 % marketshare and worth $ 4.6 billion).
It makes a lot of sense for Hennessy to use this to their full advantage in local markets where a thriving hiphop-scene is present as is the case in The Netherlands. One of the leading record-labels is Top-Notch, representing rappers like Sjaak, Sef, Dio, Faberyayo and Sticks, but also artists from different kinds of music: The Flexican, Drs P. and James Worthy.
These two brands have collaborated last year for the first time and they decided it was a good idea to continue this in 2012, under the name Hennessy Artistry. A great line-up, showcasing the versatility of this label, was mailed to me as an invitation and combined with a very promising location I was expecting quite a party. Besides this, the dresscode was black tie with a twist so I expected quite a stylish party.
I arrived 1 hour after the party had kicked off and when I hung my coat I noticed I was rather late than early and the artists that were working on a huge painting were obviously even earlier present. A great crew of roaring 20′s styled hostesses made sure that the reception was very hospitable and that all guests were escorted to the 11th floor. The nightly view over Amsterdam was stunning of course and together with the necessary (but not excessive) branding of Hennessy, it was the perfect decor for an intimate night, filled with Cognac drinks and live music.
The crowd really excelled themselves in dressing up: the ladies in cocktaildresses, the gents in tuxedo and sneakers. The bar was a bit crowded as the thirsty crowd was looking for some nice cocktails made by one of the three cocktailshakers. I decided to stick with a Fine de Cognac on the rocks until the lines were a bit shorter. And then someone pointed out to me that there were bottles of X.O. in the cigar lounge. Joy oh joy! This night was for the incrowd: people affiliated with the Top Notch-label mainly for this event had some fierce competition: the première of Skyfall, drawing away some guests for sure, but the vibe was great and music even better.
I returned home buzzing from the great music and with a very nicely designed goodiebag. The art of blending was clear to me: mixing great live music and Hennessy cocktails, mixing high-street chique with street and creating fine blends of Cognac. If only they would organize this event more often!
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