Alizé is a woman’s name and a French word meaning “trade wind”. Originally “trade” meant track or path, and in the age of navigation, these wind tracks meant success or failure for many a sea captain’s exploration. Today, Alizé is a brand of liqueur which has three different flavors. The Gold version is passion fruit flavored, the Red adds cranberry and peach, whilst the Bleu features cherries and ginger.
Interestingly, when Alizé first hit the market in 1986 it was a failure. Former Alizé brand ambassador Robert Bradford had this to say about its early history:
“Alizé, which started out selling for about $25 a bottle, was being targeted directly at 45-55-year-old white women. At the time, it seemed to make good sense. It was an easy product to drink, kind of delicious with passion fruit in it, and it had a classy cognac image. But it sat on a shelf for about 8 years and didn’t move. The intended target audience just wasn’t buying in. Then, about 1994, it was decided to liquidate the inventory. The shelf price was dropped to around $16 a bottle. Coincidentally, this was the same time the product began to appear in rap videos. In particular, the internationally famous rap legend Tupac Shakur (2Pac), came out with his hit “Thug Passion“, he rapped about Hennessy, Alizé and Moët & Chandon. These three brands are still riding the waves of this notoriety today.”
By the way, if you want to make a Thug Passion cocktail, check out the video below.
Alizé Red Passion (32 proof)
Visual: Dark rosy pink.
Nose: Peach nectar, passionfruit, high notes of cognac brandy.
Taste: Like a boozy fruit punch. Quite sweet and sugary, but not in a cloying manner. Works well on the rocks or mixed with a sparkling wine.
Finish: Lingering tropical fruit notes and a candy-like aftertaste.
Overall: Definitely a party drink and one that will go over well with 20-somethings and beginning drinkers. Which isn’t to say that it’s not worth imbibing, it’s just simplistic and easy to approach.
GSN Rating: B