In contrast to major Cognac markets such as China and Russia, where there is strong interest in drinking cognac neat, the UK On-Trade is regaining interest in the Cognac category through cocktails.
Due to its long history Cognac is found in many classic cocktails, including a number of renowned creations such as the Sidecar, Sazerac, the Alexander and the original Champagne cocktail. Unfortunately, Cognac is often overlooked on modern cocktail menus. Yet with big American hip-hop stars endorsing Cognac brands and an increase in consumption among younger urban consumers, Cognac is becoming cool again.
Here’s a list of 5 of our favourite Cognac cocktails we think you should give a go. Let us know what you think in the comments!
The first recipes for the Sidecar appear in 1922, in Harry MacElhone's Harry's ABC of Mixing Cocktails and Robert Vermeire's Cocktails and How to Mix Them. It is one of six basic drinks listed in David A. Embury's The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks and a true classic.
Pour all ingredients into cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain straight up into a chilled cocktail glass.
Rémy Grand Tonic
A French twist on a British classic, the Grand Tonic is a tribute to the roots of Rémy Martin, providing everyday elegance in a glass.
In your finest large white wine glass, pour 50ml Rémy Martin VSOP Mature Cask Finish over ice, top with tonic and finish with a wedge of fresh lemon.
It’s often claimed that the Sazerac is the oldest known American cocktail, though to have been first made around 1850. Throughout its life, the recipe has often been changed, firstly by swapping Cognac for Rye Whisky when Cognac was hard to come by and then swapping Absinthe for Herbsaint when Absinthe was banned stateside.
Rinse a chilled old-fashioned glass with the absinthe, add ice, and leave to chill. Stir the remaining ingredients with ice in a separate glass. Discard the ice from the first glass, and strain the drink into the glass. Add the lemon peel for garnish.
Courvoisier Espresso Martini
Created in the late 80’s at Soho Brasserie in London, the Espresso Martini is typically made with vodka. Swapping the vodka for cognac adds complexity and creates a perfect aromatic pairing of cognac and coffee.
Pour all ingredients into cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake well. Strain into a coupette ideally out of the fridge or chilled with ice.
The Stinger cocktail originated in about 1890. A classic American cocktail, it remained widely popular in America until the 1970s. Perhaps it’s time for a comeback?
- 50 ml Cognac
- 20 ml white crème de menthe
Pour both ingredients over ice in a mixing glass, stir and then strain into a chilled coupe glass. May also be served over ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a mint sprig.
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