I recently sat down with Chris “Ludacris” Bridges in Dallas to discuss his cognac, Conjure. As the majority owner of Conjure, Ludacris went to France in early 2009 to research his new cognac. He spent time with Birkedal Hartmann’s master blender, and the pair used more than 40 types of brandy before deciding upon a combination that reflected the rapper/actor’s taste.
Here’s a sampling of what Ludacris had to say about Conjure:
Q: What got you interested in producing your own cognac?
I’ve been a cognac drinker for a long time. Louis XIII was pretty much my favorite, so I wanted to make something that was as close to Louis XIII as possible, but for a way more affordable price.
Q. How involved were you in the production process?
I went to France to help handcraft it because I want everybody to feel like they’re part of the experience when they buy a bottle. I’m not just another celebrity attaching my name to something; I’m actually invested in it. It’s one VS, one VSOP and one XO cognac all mixed together. That’s why it’s so smooth. It’s higher quality cognac for a better price.
Q: Who do you imagine drinking your cognac?
Just like my fan base, it’s extremely versatile. There is no limit. As I like to say, it’s the “new brown in town.” There’s no one demographic. If I had to say, it’s for the sophisticated, luxurious, innovative individual who’s creative and is not afraid to take a chance on something.
After sampling the cognac neat in a snifter, Ludacris encouraged me to mix it with some pineapple juice and ice. Not normally my thing, but sure. The result was actually pretty good, in a very-drinkable-and-tastes-like-juice kind of way. As a sipping brandy, I found it too sweet, overly fruity and lacking balance, but it works as a mixing spirit, which is how I imagine most people will consume Conjure.