Hpnotiq Liqueur was one of the most popular liqueurs in the world when it first hit the shelves but since, it has lost its star power and fame. What happened? What is Hpnotiq? Is Hypnotiq good? How did it become a famous liqueur?
In this article, we’re going to answer all the questions you have about Hpnotiq, as wells as cover some of the price, tasting notes, and best drinks to make using Hpnotiq.
In 2001, Raphael Yakoby created Hpnotiq liqueur with the help of his brother Solomon who had given Raphael $200,000 for a 50% stake in the company. The idea behind Hpnotiq actually stemmed from perfume. Raphael, a 25-yr old college dropout at the time, had seen a bottle of blue perfume at a luxury store and decided he would create a blue liqueur.
Raphael experimented with blending different concoctions together until he was able to create Hpnotiq. He finally settled with French vodka, cognac, and a blend of “exotic fruit juices”. Yakoby, with the help of a Nick Storm, promoted Hpnotiq in bars, clubs, and parties until they made it big time with the help of one Sean Combs, otherwise known as Diddy, P Diddy, Puff Daddy, Puffy, or whatever name you may know him by.
Shortly after, in 2003, Heaven Hill Distilleries purchased the trademark and distribution rights for $50 million, according to the NY Post.
Hpnotiq and the Rap Industry’s Influence
Diddy began selling Hpnotiq in his restaurant chain, Justin’s. Soon there after, rappers and hip-hop singers began using Hpnotiq as part of their lyrics, with the likes of Kanye, Ludacris, Jay-Z, Missy Elliot, and Fabolous singing about the liqueur.
Hpnotiq became a tremendously popular liqueur in night clubs as the celebrities and singers were promoting it, but this isn’t the only reason. The blue hue allowed it to stand out and make colorful cocktails. Furthermore, the link between cognac and rap culture was already established. You can read more about that in our D’USSE vs Hennessy post.
What is a Liqueur?
I can keep discussing Hpnotiq, but that’ll only get you so far if you aren’t familiar with what a liqueur actually is. Different liquors have very specific regulations about what can be distilled, how it can be distilled, how it can be flavored, and so on. For example, water is the only additive allowed for straight whiskey, but other whiskeys can have a small amount of coloring or flavoring added to it, up to 2.5% of additives.
Liqueur, on the other hand, is a distilled spirit with many additives for flavor, such as fruit, herbs, spices, coloring, and sugar. Liqueur often uses a lot of additives and flavor enhancers that dilute the alcohol percentage (abv), so it’s primarily used in cocktails in addition to a base liquor.
What is Hpnotiq Made from?
Hpnotiq uses French vodka as the base spirit with a mix of “exotic juices” with “hints of orange and passion fruit”. In addition, there is a touch of Cognac and a blue coloring agent.
- Spirit: Liqueur with vodka and cognac as the base
- Owned By: Heaven Hill Distilleries
- ABV: 17%, 34 proof
- Price: $20
What Does Hpnotiq Taste Like? Is It Good?
Let’s start with the question, is it good? No. It’s not. At least not by itself anyhow. It’s super sweet and then super tart. I’m not even sure how to describe the taste and what it tastes like, but I can confidently say that very few people would actually enjoy Hpnotiq by itself. We’ll have to see if it’s any good in a cocktail.
Best Cocktails to make with Hpnotiq
Liqueur is really meant to be added into a cocktail to make fun, exciting, and often sugary drinks. So, we’re going to try a couple and see which is best. You can visit Hpnotiq’s website for a full list of recipes.
- 1 oz vodka
- 1 oz Hpnotiq
- 3 oz gatorade
For the sake of giving this a fair shot, I’m going to try this drink with both blue and purple Gatorade. I don’t have high expectations for this drink, though. I’ve never had a good drink or experience when I mix liquor and Gatorade, but perhaps this is different.
Nope. It’s not. I don’t like to shame anyone for what they choose to drink, but no one over the age of 21 should drink this. Even using Gatorade Zero, this is just too sugary. If you choose to drink this, the purple Gatorade is a much better option than blue, still not good though.
- 1 oz Gin
- 2 oz Hpnotiq
- 1/2 oz sour mix
Nope. This ain’t it either. It’s not disgusting by any means, but it’s just not good. We’ll try one more cocktail to see if we can make something good. This time we’re going to add something that may counteract the powerful taste of Hpnotiq.
- 1 oz vodka
- 1 oz Hpnotiq
- 1/2 oz grenadine
- (3 oz fruit juice)
So I started this recipe without any fruit juice and, like the others, it was simply not good. After adding a couple oz of Caribbean Sunset juice (pineapple, orange, mango), it was actually quite decent. It’s something you’d order and enjoy on the beach or a boat.
Hpnotiq Cocktails Summary
It took me quite some time to make a good cocktail using Hpnotiq. I even poured out most of the drinks I made, as they simply weren’t worth drinking. The blue liqueur looks good. It looks fun. I mean, take a look at some of the cocktails on their website – they 100% look the part for a fun party cocktail. Not many of them come through.
If I weren’t caught in a snow storm right now, I’d certainly make a trip to the grocery store and pick up some orange juice for this, as your best bet is to mix Hpnotiq with powerfully flavored juices.
If you’re going to make a cocktail using Hpnotiq, use vodka, grenadine, and some fruit juice, and you’ll likely make something tropical and at least decent.
Hpnotiq Liqueur Summary
Hpnotiq doesn’t have quite the following it did back in the early 2k’s, and I think I know why. It was all hype. Eventually, the hype died down and people realized that it’s not very good. There are tons of cocktails you can make using Hpnotiq, I’m just not sure how many of them are actually good as the liqueur is so overpowering and lacks a good taste.
There are too many other liqueurs I’d choose instead. Try Curacao, Malibu, Bailey’s, Drambuie, RumChata, Disaronno, Triple Sec, Aperol, or Campari, among many many others before you reach for Hpnotiq.
TasteAtlas has a great article on the 50 most popular liqueur’s in the world if you’re looking for a more comprehensive list.