Courvoisier celebrates the culture of good taste
Back in the noughties, “Pass the Courvoisier” was a call to party; the anthem that marked the era of high hop-hop, rap royalty and jubilation. In the video, the voices and energy of Busta Rhymes, P Diddy, Mr. T, Jamie Foxx, Mo’Nique, and Pharrell Williams among others set the tone for a rip-roaring good time, dressed to the hilt, dancing, and passing the bottle of Courvoisier, sewing together various scenarios encapsulating good times “in da club”.
Two decades later, a group of invited guests spontaneously chant the anthem while being taught to make two signature summer cognac cocktails led by mixologist and brand ambassador George Hunter. “Pass the Courvoisier! Everybody sing it now! Pass the Courvoisier! And arms and hands go up sparking a Mexican wave!”
While the mood has stayed the same and song is still elite, the setting has changed to the daytime experiences. Courvoisier has curated a series of sensory #CourvoisierMoments to celebrate life’s joyful moments through food, music and people, all guided and amplified by three tastemakers: luxury content creator and fashion lover Melody Molale; photographer, art director and artist Fhatuwani Mukheli; and award-winning interior architect Tristan du Plessis.
“With all my travels and hectic schedule I really learn to take joy in the smaller things. As I get older I really appreciate the finer details more, and see effort and consideration put into product whether it’s a detail or an art piece or a beautiful drink,” says Du Plessis.
Chosen for their talents and outlooks, the creative vanguards personify the art of bringing together their talents, achievements and interests to cultivate a more considered way of existence; to enrich their lives.
“Art is a very personal thing for me. My work focuses on healing, emotions,” says Mukheli. His “Moments You Can’t Relive” exhibition with Courvoisier aimed to capture and evoke memories of those instances. “I want people to appreciate the idea of reliving moments – moments you can relive when you look at the art.”
The book “How to be a Tastemaker”, published by Gestalten talks to how “our hyperconnected society mocks conventional notions of taste” and how we seek, through people and brands, to access the finer things in life. There is cultural currency in having good taste. And Courvoisier as a consummate purveyor of it, gathered friends of the brand to celebrate the joy of spring on the sprawling lawns of Beechwood Gardens – a landmark location in Johannesburg known for its classic garden landscape laid out in 1945 by legendary landscape architect Joanne Pym.
In the crafting of a cognac such as Courvoisier, the oak itself is so important in influencing flavour on the spirit. The amount of sun the oak tree received, the flora and fauna that grew around, proximity to a water source and more, all inform the flavour profile of the final elixir. The House of Courvoisier celebrates that art of making, realising the potential of each ingredient, so that every part of the process can be tasted.
The same attention to details has been given to a series of events inviting fans to enjoy daytime #CourvoisierMoments at more than 40 venues across Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. At the intimate event held in late September, conceptualised by Vicky Clarke Posnett of Fresh Catering, the lunch picnic baskets were laden with crudité vegetables with hummus, minted tzatziki, artichoke pâté and seeded crackers, as well as homemade cheese straws, slivers of roasted beef fillet, Chicken Mandalay, and a cheese board – the perfect accompaniments to the French Twist cocktail made with Courvoisier VSOP, Triple sec, lemon and a garnish of raspberries; and the Gala, a zesty blend of Courvoisier VSOP topped with tonic and served long over ice.
Three live stations with chefs served Courvoisier-flamed herbed beef and chicken sausages. Crepes prepared at a live cooking station had guests queuing for their decadent dessert with choices of flaked almonds, fresh peaches, cinnamon and sugar, and Nutella, to be enjoyed with a neat Courvoisier XO. Best pairings are fried, creamy and salty foods, the experts advise.
The selection of award-winning jazz artists Bokani Dyer and Sisonke Xonti alongside DJ Kenzhero who formed part of the musical programme supported by Shilungwa Mhinga, set the soulful, shoulder-shaking mood.
Says Molale: “How I appreciate the joys of everyday life is through my love and passion for fashion. I love that Courvoisier is shifting to a more daytime, summery, lighter vibe. We enjoy nice cocktails, being around each other and living in the moment.”
“Courvoisier is about focusing on what brings you joy – a combination of great company, rich conversation and beautiful environments set against the backdrop of the most joyful of music genres, jazz,” says Jeanette Edwards, senior brand director Maison Courvoisier. “The upcoming Courvoisier events paired with refreshing daytime serves and jazz allows our fans to experience Courvoisier in a new way.”