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Closeup of a Server opening a bottle of champagne

Source: Heidi Patricola / Getty

As Hip-Hop Wired and CASSIUS join together to celebrate Hip-Hop at 50 this year, we’re looking back at pivotal moments of the culture but this time with a twist. Spirit.Ed is space to talk adult beverages and we’re focusing on a famed cocktail of the 1990s in the bright and bubbly Thug Passion.

The Thug Passion can be traced directly to the late Tupac “2Pac” Shakur, who introduced in the track “Thug Passion” from the 1996 album, All Eyez On Me. As the song’s lyrics dictate, the cocktail has a very dedicated, if profane, mission on its hands.

From 2Pac’s “Thug Passion”:

Aight, new drink

One part Alizé, one part Cristal

Thug’s Passion, baby

We decided to omit the rest of the intro and song because it goes off the rails from there. That said, the Thug Passion isn’t the first champagne cocktail, joining other notables like the gin-spiked French 75, the classic sweetened Champagne Cocktail, and the trusty brunch fave in the Mimosa.

For those of a certain age, Alizé might have been an introduction to stronger booze beyond the bottle of four-pack wine coolers, tall can brews, and other drinks as we were coming up and training our livers (we just came up with that).

Today, Alizé is still very much a staple in some beer and wine stores and comes in a variety of bright flavors. Cristal remains the top sparkling wine from the Louis Roederer champagne house. Because of the price, we wouldn’t recommend using Cristal in a cocktail unless you’re just balling out for the night. Any decent bottle of champagne or sparkling white could do the trick.

Given that rappers like E-40 and others have stormed their way into the adult beverage industry after years of grinding, one could wonder how 2Pac would fare in the entrepreneurial space.

Photo: Getty