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10 Cognac Cocktail Recipes to Make Now
Forget champagne. Another one of France’s finest imports is pure gold. READ: Rye Whiskey Makes a Comeback Cognac or “the king of brandies,” isn’t just an aged spirit to sip.  Produced in the Charente region, Cognac is a rich, warm, comforting drink, both smooth and earthy.  Unlike brandy, this spirit can only receive the covet Cognac label if it’s produced within this specific area of western France, all while undergoing a rigorous process of distilling and aging in wood barrels. “As the saying goes, all Cognac is brandy but not all brandy is Cognac,” states a report from American University. “Cognac is a distilled (eau-de-vie) made from fermented white grapes, and aged for at least two years.” And while this fine elixir is best savored alone, it’s also beginning to brighten up cocktails. READ: Small-Batch Bourbons You Need to Try Now “Cognac is a cornerstone of any classic cocktail bar,” explains Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, co-author of “The 12 Bottle Bar: A Dozen Bottles. Hundreds of Cocktails.” “Today, many people imagine Cognac as a rich man’s tipple, only to be enjoyed from a balloon snifter while sitting next to a roaring fire with a dog by your side. It’s a nice image, but it neglects Cognac’s place behind the bar.” “Since the first cocktail manual from 150 years ago, Cognac and its brandy cousins have served as the basis for countless cocktails, such as the timeless Old Fashioned or the Sidecar,” she adds. “So why drink Cognac? If you’re a bourbon or amber rum drinker, Cognac offers similar levels of sweetness, vanilla, and unmistakable oak-aging. In fact, flexibility -- the ability to stand in for other dark spirits, particularly bourbon and rum -- is one of Cognac’s defining features.” While crisp gin or fruity dark rum are ideal for the balmy spring and summer months, mixologists have discovered a variety of ways to shake up new and classic cocktail recipes with a serving of this welcoming spirit. READ: Cocktails You Need to Make Now For some inspiration, here are 10 tasty, noteworthy recipes to try:
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1

Belclare

Ingredients 1 ½ oz. Louis Royer “Force 53” VSOP Cognac ¾ oz. Combier Crème de Pamplemousse Grapefruit Liqueur ½ oz. Brizard White Crème de Cacao ¼ oz. Pernod Absinthe 1 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice Preparation Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Add ice and shake. Strain into a martini or coupe glass.
(Mixologist Franky Marshall, photo credit Andrew Kist)

Stinger

Ingredients 1 oz. Campari 1 oz. high proof Cognac ¼ tsp. Grade B maple syrup 2 mint sprigs Preparation Muddle mint in cocktail shaker. Add other ingredients. Shake and strain over crushed ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with a mint sprig.
(Mixolgist Christy Pope, Cuffs & Buttons Cocktail Catering)

The Cowboy Killer Manhattan

Ingredients 2 oz. Maker’s Mark bourbon 1 oz. sweet vermouth 1 oz. Grand Marnier Cognac Liqueur 6 Morello cherries soaked in Grand Marnier 2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters Preparation Muddle cherries with bitters. Build remaining ingredients in a mixing glass. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a coupe and garnish with a pick of cherries.
(BLT Steak in Scottsdale, Arizona)

Prescription Julep

Ingredients .25 oz. cane sugar 10 mint sprigs lightly muddled 1.5 oz. Cognac .5 oz. rye whiskey crushed ice .25 oz. Jamaican rum powdered sugar Preparation Muddle 10 mint sprigs and cane sugar in a mixing glass with ice. Add all other ingredients except powdered sugar and one mint sprig. Stir and strain into a julep cup with fresh crushed ice. Garnish with powdered sugar and mint sprig.
(David Kupchinsky, head barman at Eveleigh in Los Angeles)

Summit Cocktail

Ingredients 1.5 oz. Cognac VSOP 2 oz. lemon-lime soda 4 thin slices fresh ginger 1 lime zest 1 long piece of cucumber Preparation Put lime and ginger into a glass. Pour in .75 oz. cognac. Press lightly 2-3 times. Half filled with ice, stir for 5 seconds. Pour the remaining cognac. Add lemon-lime soda and cucumber. Stir well and serve immediately.
(ExperienceCognac.com, photo courtesy of Gérard Martron)

Regent Punch

Ingredients ½ oz. arrack (a spirit made from coconuts) ½ oz. Cognac ½ oz. Jamaican rum ½ oz. curacao liqueur ¾ oz. fresh lemon juice ¾ oz. orange-infused simple syrup ¾ oz. green tea Champagne 1 mint sprig 1 strawberry slice Preparation Add all ingredients, except champagne, in a chilled cocktail glass and stir. Top with champagne. Garnish with mint sprig and strawberry slice.
(The Regent Cocktail Club at the Gale South Beach & Regent Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida)

Blackberry Smash

Ingredients ½ tsp. grated ginger 6 blackberries 2 oz. Cognac 1 oz. honey liquor 1 oz. lemon juice splash of soda 1 lemon twist Preparation Muddle 5 blackberries and ginger. Add cognac and honey liquor. Shake with ice and pour over crushed ice in rocks glass. Top with splash of soda. Garnish with a berry and a lemon twist.
(Mixologist Jamie D’Oliveira of Page in Sag Harbor, New York)

French 125

Ingredients 1 ½ oz. Cognac ¾ oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice ¾ oz. simple syrup Champagne or other sparkling wine Preparation Combine the Cognac, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a mixing glass. Fill the glass ¾ with ice cubes. Shake the drink vigorously for 15 seconds. Strain the drink into a champagne flute and top with champagne. Stir gently to combine.
(Authors David Solmonson and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson)

Covet

Ingredients ¾ oz. fresh lemon juice .5 oz. cinnamon syrup 1.5 oz. Cognac .5 oz. Kings Ginger Liqueur 1 oz. unfiltered apple juice 1 candied ginger Preparation Shake and strain into Collins glass. Garnish with candied ginger.
(Mixologist Isaac Grillo of Haven Rooftop in New York City)

Cognac Old Fashioned

Ingredients 1 tsp. light brown or raw sugar 1-2 dash aromatic bitters 1 tsp. water 1 ½ oz. Cognac 1 lemon twist Preparation Place sugar in the bottom of a rocks glass. Dash the bitters onto the sugar and stir or muddle together. Add the water and stir until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Add one or two ice cubes (optional) and the cognac. Stir gently to combine and chill. Twist a lemon peel over the drink to express the oils.
(Authors David Solmonson and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson)

10 Cognac Cocktail Recipes to Make Now

Forget champagne. Another one of France’s finest imports is pure gold. READ: Rye Whiskey Makes a Comeback Cognac or “the king of brandies,” isn’t just an aged spirit to sip.  Produced in the Charente region, Cognac is a rich, warm, comforting drink, both smooth and earthy.  Unlike brandy, this spirit can only receive the covet Cognac label if it’s produced within this specific area of western France, all while undergoing a rigorous process of distilling and aging in wood barrels. “As the saying goes, all Cognac is brandy but not all brandy is Cognac,” states a report from American University. “Cognac is a distilled (eau-de-vie) made from fermented white grapes, and aged for at least two years.” And while this fine elixir is best savored alone, it’s also beginning to brighten up cocktails. READ: Small-Batch Bourbons You Need to Try Now “Cognac is a cornerstone of any classic cocktail bar,” explains Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, co-author of “The 12 Bottle Bar: A Dozen Bottles. Hundreds of Cocktails.” “Today, many people imagine Cognac as a rich man’s tipple, only to be enjoyed from a balloon snifter while sitting next to a roaring fire with a dog by your side. It’s a nice image, but it neglects Cognac’s place behind the bar.” “Since the first cocktail manual from 150 years ago, Cognac and its brandy cousins have served as the basis for countless cocktails, such as the timeless Old Fashioned or the Sidecar,” she adds. “So why drink Cognac? If you’re a bourbon or amber rum drinker, Cognac offers similar levels of sweetness, vanilla, and unmistakable oak-aging. In fact, flexibility -- the ability to stand in for other dark spirits, particularly bourbon and rum -- is one of Cognac’s defining features.” While crisp gin or fruity dark rum are ideal for the balmy spring and summer months, mixologists have discovered a variety of ways to shake up new and classic cocktail recipes with a serving of this welcoming spirit. READ: Cocktails You Need to Make Now For some inspiration, here are 10 tasty, noteworthy recipes to try:

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