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Rapper Ludacris launches own Cognac

US rap star Chris Bridges, also known as Ludacris, is launching his own Cognac.

Working with Birkedal Hartmann, a Norwegian-owned Cognac producer, Ludacris has created Conjure, which will debut in Norway in July and in the US in September.

‘I went to Cognac and blended it myself from 14 different samples,’ Bridges said.

While Cognac typically displays its grade – such as VO (very old) or VS (very special) – on the bottle, Conjure is ungraded because it comprises Cognacs of different official grades. This is unusual for a high end blend.

Bridges said he wants the bottle – which bears a subtle design of naked female silhouettes (see photo) – to be a collectible for customers who shell out $34 (£20) a bottle.

Bridges has won three Grammy awards and sold over 20m albums, including Chicken-n-Beer and Word of Mouf. He has also appeared in numerous television shows and films.

After a 15-year boom, sales of Cognac are in decline. In the US, the drink’s leading market, they were down 22% year on year, as of May – from €190m ($266m) to €148m.

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Written by Sophie Kevany in Bordeaux

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