Cognac is currently enjoying a renaissance thanks to the boom in cocktail culture as mixologists revamp classics such as the Sazerac, French 75 and Sidecar, adding their own twists with innovative new ingredients.
Joe Hall, bartender at Satan’s Whiskers in London, says “Cognac is a must have ingredient in any bar because of its versatility. When the appropriate Cognac is used, it really can have something for everyone. We're all aware of its sipping qualities, but its capabilities in light and refreshing drinks are relatively unexplored… everyone in the know is looking forward to Cognac’s evolving prospects!”
Innovative bartenders have a whole range of tools at their disposal to create show-stopping cocktails which might leave you stumped, but experimentation doesn’t have to mean space-age equipment.
The BNIC has developed a new wave of perfectly balanced, beautiful cocktails which can be recreated easily at home, and show off the versatility of the spirit. These include new creations and twists on old favourites – from the light and zingy Sidecar, to the brooding and complex Cognac Old Fashioned.
From VS to VSOP and XO, at noon or midnight, there’s never been a better time to mix up a Cognac cocktail.
SIX COGNAC COCKTAILS
1. Pink Life
Method Put the Cognac and the liqueur into a flute glass and top with chilled Champagne. Garnish with a raspberry.
Method Place the ice cubes in a shaker with Cognac, lemon juice and triple sec. Shake well. Strain into the glass using a cocktail strainer and press the orange peel over the drink.
3. Mint Julep
Method Lightly muddle one sprig of mint with the sugar syrup and bitters in the bottom of a highball glass. Remove and discard the mint. Fill the glass with crushed ice and add the Cognac, stirring well with a bar spoon. Garnish with the remaining sprigs of mint
4. Cognac Old Fashioned
Method Place the sugar cube in the base of an old fashioned glass. Soak with the bitters and a dash of soda water, then crush the sugar with the back of a bar spoon. Add one third of the Cognac and two ice cubes and stir well. Add another third of the Cognac and one ice cube and stir well. Repeat with the remaining Cognac and ice cube and decorate with a twist of orange peel.
5. Cognac Summit
Method Place the lime and ginger slices in a glass. Add the VSOP Cognac. Lightly press the lime and ginger 2 to 3 times using a muddler Half fill the glass with ice and stir well for 5 seconds using a bar spoon. Add the traditional lemonade and the cucumber peel. Stir well for 5 seconds using a bar spoon.
6. Brandy Crusta
Method Prepare the glass by crusting the glass rim with fine caster sugar. To do this moisten the rim with lemon juice and dip it into a saucer filled with sugar. Put all of the ingredients into a shaker filled with ice, shake, then strain into the prepared glass. Garnish with a long spiral of lemon inside the rim of the glass.