The Mediterranean manse tucked behind gates in Miami Beach is now formally known as the House of Conjure - at least while rapper/actor/entrepreneur Chris “Ludacris” Bridges stays there.
Ludacris, here for the business and pleasure of Super Bowl, introduced his new Conjure cognac to a set of tastemakers in the rented home this week. He created the spirit with Birkedal Hartmann, a Norwegian-owned Cognac producer, from a blend of some 40 distinct brandies.
“It's fine and rich. It's smooth going down the throat and mixable, which is why a lot of women like it,” he says of the cognac, priced at about $34 a bottle. “As soon as people taste it, it seems to take on a life of its own.”
Ludacris, already a cognac drinker, made the trek to a region in France to help create his brand, then tested the markets in Georgia and - not surprisingly - Florida.
“You know this is a place with a lot of energy and a lot of parties,” he says, laughing. “People here love to have a good time.”
Twenty-four hours later, the Grammy-winning rapper hosted a listening party at House of Conjure, for his seventh solo album, Battle of the Sexes, set to be released March 9.
“I wanted to do something different, I wanted to look at stuff from a male and female perspective,” he says. “There's a whole lot of back and forth.”
So there you have it: Luda versus R&B singer Monica (his cousin), Lil' Kim, Eve and Nicki Minaj