Heaven Hill Distilleries, the largest independent distiller in the US, has acquired the French liqueur brand Hpnotiq for an undisclosed sum, the company announced late last week.

The deal sees Heaven Hill gain the trademark rights from Global Perspectives, and the worldwide distribution rights from Wingard.

The drink has been available in the Northeast of the US for 18 months. It is a blend of Cognac, premium vodka and natural tropical fruit juices.

Following its initial launch in the New York area, the drink has attracted something of a celebrity following, and even got a mention by singer Lil' Kim on Last Call with Carson Daly.

"We are tremendously excited about the opportunity to continue the groundswell that is Hpnotiq and to expand distribution through our stature as the country's largest independent family-owned distilled spirits company," said Heaven Hill president Max L. Shapira. "Our initial charge will be to substantially enhance marketing support in current core markets, and to continue to replicate the Hpnotiq formula in new untapped markets."

"We feel, having developed and nurtured the brand to its current position as the hottest new drink in New York and other major metro markets, that this agreement with Heaven Hill provides the distribution and marketing clout to make Hpnotiq the next national drink sensation," noted James Goldstein, president of Wingard, Inc., based in Great Neck, NY.  "With the level of buzz and exposure that Hpnotiq already enjoys, this agreement with Heaven Hill means the infrastructure is now in place to take Hpnotiq to the next level, both nationally and internationally."

Raphael Yakoby, president of Global Perspectives, Inc., and brand founder and owner of the Hpnotiq trademark, added "We've developed an outstanding product and brand concept, and we are confident that Hpnotiq's exciting growth will continue under Heaven Hill's ownership."