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Cognac: Always in Style

Luxurious, refined and versatile, cognac shines at any gathering, from cutting-edge to classic.

A favourite of 19th-century highbrows like the royals of Sweden, England and France, this refined amber brandy is still making the A-list, appearing at star-studded soirees and as the favourite of hip hop heavy hitters who love to make a splash. Its superior quality and luxurious fruit, spice and vanilla flavours have lasting appeal and have made cognac a time-honoured must-have for toasting "the good life."

The smoothest of the grape-based spirits, cognac is a double-distilled brandy that originated in the 17th century and hails from its namesake region, located just north of Bordeaux, France. The Cognac area is divided into smaller appellations, each offering its own nuanced flavour profile.

If you’re a purist, simply pour your cognac into a balloon glass or snifter, cup the glass in your hand to warm it up a bit and enjoy. Older cognacs offer a hint of spice, while younger bottles deliver fruity or flowery notes. VSOP and XO cognacs are best enjoyed when served neat or with a drop of water, Scotch style. When mixing cognac cocktails, try choosing a younger spirit, usually designated VS.

 

 

GOOD GRADES

Selecting a cognac is remarkably simple. Every cognac comes with an official grade stating its degree of excellence.

VS (very special) = aged at least two years

VSOP (very special old pale) = aged at least four years

XO (extra old) = aged at least 10 years, but most average 20 years or more

 


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Cognac Cocktails

Throughout the 1800s, American bartenders perfected the art of the cocktail with cognac at the heart of punches, fizzes, sours — even mint juleps. Though other spirits have since eclipsed it on mainstream menus, cognac cocktails remain classic because this spirit mixes so well with fruits and juices.

Paris Mule

A French twist on the Moscow Mule, our Paris Mule gets a touch of elegance from Hennessy cognac.

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Sidecar

This classic sour drink from the early 20th century is refreshingly modern with a hint of sweetness and notes of citrus. Always shaken, never stirred.

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Cognac French 75

Ever since it was published in The Savoy Cocktail Book in the 1920s and became a hit among Paris and New York bartenders, the French 75 has reigned supreme. The cognac-based version is extra luxe.

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Ambrosia

Arnaud's Restaurant in New Orleans is responsible for this sophisticated and refreshing cocktail that's topped with chilled Champagne and a spritz of lemon juice.

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Ritz

This modern classic cocktail, credited to cocktail legend Dale DeGroff in the '90s, comes to life with fresh orange juice and a splash of Cointreau.

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Champagne Cocktail

Champagne is the ultimate celebration beverage, but when made with cognac, this traditional cocktail takes the festivities to the next level.

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Cognac Alexander

Rich, sweet and creamy, this version of a vintage Brandy Alexander is the perfect post-dinner cocktail.

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Cognac Berry

Cranberry juice is commonly used in cocktails, but using it as a mix with cognac is unusual and totally delicious. The fruity flavours of the ingredients nicely play off each other.

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Stinger

Made of the classic duo of cognac and crème de menthe, this delicious and decadent after-dinner drink came to us straight from the pre-Prohibition era.

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