H.O.M.E. by Martell–the Cognac giant’s latest marketing campaign–is hitting the airwaves by storm. The social media show us glitzy images of celebs in LA, Chicago, and Washington DC partying, getting down to the latest sounds, and dining on some awesome looking food. (That is if, going by photos of the LA launch party, these super-skinny actor folks actually let such food pass their lips).

While we are normally huge fans of the sophisticated Cognac house, we have some criticism to voice on this latest venture.

First off, it’s not at all obvious to us what this campaign is about. In fact, it’s not even clear what H.O.M.E stands for. Or is it not an acronym for anything? A graphic gadget perhaps? Did they decide to punctuate H.O.M.E. as the industry does with X.O. and V.S.O.P.? In any case, it comes across as overly smart.

H.O.M.E. by Martell, "Say what?!"

H.O.M.E. by Martell is billing itself as being

“Curated by some of the leading entertainers of our time, H.O.M.E. by Martell is where you can experience the swift spirit of Martell through food, music, and mixology”.

The term curated comes way too easily these days. People tend to forget that it originates from a profession within the art world. Someone who “cares for” art works is a curator, not an entertainer who scouts locations and guests lists for parties. The Cognac house goes on to proclaim, that

“Martell reignites curiosity and makes you question the obvious through the worldwide House Of Martell Entertainment”.

We’re sure someone spent a lot of time coming up with these fine words, but what on earth are they trying to say? What is the ethos behind the ‘House of Martell Entertainment”? It seems that Martell’s values and priorities are entirely off with this campaign, and this really surprises us because we’re used to understated and intelligent campaigning from Martell.

H.O.M.E. by Martell, "Say what?!"


The official hashtag for H.O.M.E. by Martell is #BeCurious. And it seems that plenty of people are. So the campaign is obviously hitting the spot for some people. What we are concerned with, however, is the segregation between the wealthy and famous and those Cognac lovers who live in South Central Los Angeles, as one example, or the African American community in Chicago as another. These people are the ones that made Cognac big in the US. They invest in Cognac because it’s part of their culture, not because it decorates their bar. And believe us, we know, this is a huge financial commitment to many, because Cognac is expensive!

Here’s our dare to Martell:

Host a H.O.M.E. party where the true fans are! Like in South Central LA. Hollywood can organize and afford their own parties, they don’t need a drinks giant to sponsor them. Host a party that’s not just another event to attend for someone, but their party of a lifetime. We’re sure you’ll find people more than happy to offer up their home as a location. And you can always invite the rich and the famous along–not to mention the awesome chef, mixologist, and a top DJ to spin the decks.

Chez Jhene Aiko

Here’s a video if a H.O.M.E. party hosted at the home of Jhene Aiko in LA (she’s a grammy nominated singer, in case you didn’t know).

We have to admit that her party looked pretty awesome. There was a theme to each room, and the guests’ appetites were looked after by culinary offerings from Ghetto Gastro (yep, we had to Google them as well). These guys are certainly some of–if not, the–hottest chefs in the world right now, combining their vision of food, music, fashion, and culture in an inimitable manner.

H.O.M.E. by Martell, "Say what?!"

Aiko herself designed a cocktail using Martell Blue Swift especially for the party. But not only that, Martell’s cellar master, Christophe Vaultaud, was there in person to showcase the event. Now that would give any party that much needed ‘wow factor’.

Incidentally, Martell Blue Swift is a really interesting product. It’s officially NOT a Cognac. This is because the eau-de-vie is aged first in French oak barrels, and then transferred to Kentucky Bourbon casks to finish the process. Instead of being called a Cognac, it’s simply referred to as an “Eau de Vie de Vin” (spirit of wine).

Check out our article about Martell Blue Swift. It explains in more detail the technicalities behind why this can’t be labelled as a Cognac. It’s confusing, because Courvoisier can call their latest offering, Courvoisier Sherry Cask Finished, a Cognac. The reason being that the eaux-de-vie finish their aging process in barrels that have previously held a wine or wine based spirit. But in the case of Bourbon barrels, this spirit isn’t wine based (it starts life as grains, not grapes).

The H.O.M.E by Martell Cocktail

Martell have also created a cocktail that embodies this newest marketing campaign.  And it’s a twist on the old classic, the Sidecar, which they’ve named the Curious Sidecar. (Sorry, but this makes us smile every time, because we have to stop ourselves calling it Curious George!).

But monkeys aside, it’s a pretty good cocktail. You can make it yourself at home (which we guess is one of the ideas behind the H.O.M.E. marketing campaign).


45ml Martell VS Cognac

15ml Triple Sec

10ml lemon juice

10ml fresh pomegranate juice

5ml red Italian bitters

Orange peel

Hm…there are no instructions as to how to prepare the cocktail. But we think it’s pretty simple. Just place all the ingredients, minus the orange peel, in a cocktail shaker and get jiggy with it! Then pour over ice and garnish with the orange peel. And voila! Your Curious George, ehm, Curious Sidecar is ready.

Discover more about the great range of Martell Cognacs and the history of the oldest of all the Cognac giants.


Sources:  martell.com, maxim.com, splashmags.com, martellusa on Instagram

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Jacki has been with Cognac Expert from virtually the beginning. She's the senior editor of the blog, and has spent much of her life living in rural France. Today she's based back in the UK, where she splits her working life between writing for Cognac Expert and working as a Paramedic at a large regional hospital.

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    “In fact, it’s not even clear what H.O.M.E stands for. Or is it not an acronym for anything? A graphic gadget perhaps? Did they decide to punctuate H.O.M.E. as the industry does with X.O. and V.S.O.P.? In any case, it comes across as overly smart.”

    Could this be House Of Martell Entertainment?

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