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Bar Basics: Cognac

Bar Basics: Cognac


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What's in a Name?

Cognac can be produced only in the legally defined region of Cognac, France, located between the Atlantic and Massif Central — specifically, at the junction between the oceanic and continental climate zones. In addition to the unique climate, the characteristics of the soil also foster a range of wine and, consequently, cognac. In 1909, the French government passed a law that only brandy produced in the "delimited area" surrounding the town of Cognac can be called as such.

How Cognac is Made?

The arduous, time-honored distilling and aging process is what makes this product so special. The cognac we drink today is made using methods that date back to the 17th century. The two-stage distillation process begins by obtaining a first distillate, known as brouillis, which has an alcohol strength of 28% to 32%.

The brouillis is then returned to the boiler for a second heating, which produces a liquor known as la bonne chauffe. The beginning and the end of this distillation (the head and the tail) are discarded, leaving only the heart of the spirit which becomes cognac. The cognac is then sent to rest in oak casks made from wood from the Limousin and Troncais forests.

Maturing slowly over long years in cellars, cognac acquires a smoothness and flavor beyond comparison. The wood and the dark, saturated atmosphere of the cellars work together to develop the aroma of the cognac to its fullest potential. All cognac is 80-proof and aged a minimum of 30 months.

What Are All Those Letters on the Label?

When shopping for cognac, you'll see all kinds of designations on the labels of various brands — Courvoisier V.S., Martell V.S.O.P., and Rémy Martin X.O., for example. The letters and phrases after the brand name are a general indication of the age (and, in turn, of the expensiveness) of the cognac.

Every major brand produces cognacs of different ages. When one of the following designations is used, it indicates the age of the youngest cognac included in the bottle's blend.

V.S. (Very Special): Aged 2 to 4 years.

V.S.O.P. (Very Superior Old Pale): Aged 4 to 6 years.

X.O. (Extra Old): Indicates the oldest cognac made by a particular house, as do the words "Extra" or "Reserve." It is aged at least 6 years but usually around 20 years.

Cognac is made for sipping, but here are two fine recipes:

Sidecar Cocktail

Stinger Cocktail


The Sidecar Cocktail

The sidecar is one of the best cocktails of all time. It is as popular today as it was a century ago and a brilliant introduction to the allure of well-balanced sour drinks.

The recipe was originally made with either cognac or Armagnac either will create one of the most enjoyable brandy cocktails you can mix up. In the modern bar, bourbon is often poured instead (making it technically a bourbon sidecar), and some drinkers enjoy it with premium cherry brandy.

Whichever base liquor you choose, be careful with the sidecar's other ingredients. It is very important to find the balance between sweet and sour, and too much lemon or liqueur can quickly destroy the intended flavor. A popular embellishment first mentioned in recipes from the early 1930s, a sugar-rimmed glass, adds a sweet contrast to the sour drink.

Click Play to See This Recipe Come Together


The Sidecar Cocktail

The sidecar is one of the best cocktails of all time. It is as popular today as it was a century ago and a brilliant introduction to the allure of well-balanced sour drinks.

The recipe was originally made with either cognac or Armagnac either will create one of the most enjoyable brandy cocktails you can mix up. In the modern bar, bourbon is often poured instead (making it technically a bourbon sidecar), and some drinkers enjoy it with premium cherry brandy.

Whichever base liquor you choose, be careful with the sidecar's other ingredients. It is very important to find the balance between sweet and sour, and too much lemon or liqueur can quickly destroy the intended flavor. A popular embellishment first mentioned in recipes from the early 1930s, a sugar-rimmed glass, adds a sweet contrast to the sour drink.

Click Play to See This Recipe Come Together


The Sidecar Cocktail

The sidecar is one of the best cocktails of all time. It is as popular today as it was a century ago and a brilliant introduction to the allure of well-balanced sour drinks.

The recipe was originally made with either cognac or Armagnac either will create one of the most enjoyable brandy cocktails you can mix up. In the modern bar, bourbon is often poured instead (making it technically a bourbon sidecar), and some drinkers enjoy it with premium cherry brandy.

Whichever base liquor you choose, be careful with the sidecar's other ingredients. It is very important to find the balance between sweet and sour, and too much lemon or liqueur can quickly destroy the intended flavor. A popular embellishment first mentioned in recipes from the early 1930s, a sugar-rimmed glass, adds a sweet contrast to the sour drink.

Click Play to See This Recipe Come Together


The Sidecar Cocktail

The sidecar is one of the best cocktails of all time. It is as popular today as it was a century ago and a brilliant introduction to the allure of well-balanced sour drinks.

The recipe was originally made with either cognac or Armagnac either will create one of the most enjoyable brandy cocktails you can mix up. In the modern bar, bourbon is often poured instead (making it technically a bourbon sidecar), and some drinkers enjoy it with premium cherry brandy.

Whichever base liquor you choose, be careful with the sidecar's other ingredients. It is very important to find the balance between sweet and sour, and too much lemon or liqueur can quickly destroy the intended flavor. A popular embellishment first mentioned in recipes from the early 1930s, a sugar-rimmed glass, adds a sweet contrast to the sour drink.

Click Play to See This Recipe Come Together


The Sidecar Cocktail

The sidecar is one of the best cocktails of all time. It is as popular today as it was a century ago and a brilliant introduction to the allure of well-balanced sour drinks.

The recipe was originally made with either cognac or Armagnac either will create one of the most enjoyable brandy cocktails you can mix up. In the modern bar, bourbon is often poured instead (making it technically a bourbon sidecar), and some drinkers enjoy it with premium cherry brandy.

Whichever base liquor you choose, be careful with the sidecar's other ingredients. It is very important to find the balance between sweet and sour, and too much lemon or liqueur can quickly destroy the intended flavor. A popular embellishment first mentioned in recipes from the early 1930s, a sugar-rimmed glass, adds a sweet contrast to the sour drink.

Click Play to See This Recipe Come Together


The Sidecar Cocktail

The sidecar is one of the best cocktails of all time. It is as popular today as it was a century ago and a brilliant introduction to the allure of well-balanced sour drinks.

The recipe was originally made with either cognac or Armagnac either will create one of the most enjoyable brandy cocktails you can mix up. In the modern bar, bourbon is often poured instead (making it technically a bourbon sidecar), and some drinkers enjoy it with premium cherry brandy.

Whichever base liquor you choose, be careful with the sidecar's other ingredients. It is very important to find the balance between sweet and sour, and too much lemon or liqueur can quickly destroy the intended flavor. A popular embellishment first mentioned in recipes from the early 1930s, a sugar-rimmed glass, adds a sweet contrast to the sour drink.

Click Play to See This Recipe Come Together


The Sidecar Cocktail

The sidecar is one of the best cocktails of all time. It is as popular today as it was a century ago and a brilliant introduction to the allure of well-balanced sour drinks.

The recipe was originally made with either cognac or Armagnac either will create one of the most enjoyable brandy cocktails you can mix up. In the modern bar, bourbon is often poured instead (making it technically a bourbon sidecar), and some drinkers enjoy it with premium cherry brandy.

Whichever base liquor you choose, be careful with the sidecar's other ingredients. It is very important to find the balance between sweet and sour, and too much lemon or liqueur can quickly destroy the intended flavor. A popular embellishment first mentioned in recipes from the early 1930s, a sugar-rimmed glass, adds a sweet contrast to the sour drink.

Click Play to See This Recipe Come Together


The Sidecar Cocktail

The sidecar is one of the best cocktails of all time. It is as popular today as it was a century ago and a brilliant introduction to the allure of well-balanced sour drinks.

The recipe was originally made with either cognac or Armagnac either will create one of the most enjoyable brandy cocktails you can mix up. In the modern bar, bourbon is often poured instead (making it technically a bourbon sidecar), and some drinkers enjoy it with premium cherry brandy.

Whichever base liquor you choose, be careful with the sidecar's other ingredients. It is very important to find the balance between sweet and sour, and too much lemon or liqueur can quickly destroy the intended flavor. A popular embellishment first mentioned in recipes from the early 1930s, a sugar-rimmed glass, adds a sweet contrast to the sour drink.

Click Play to See This Recipe Come Together


The Sidecar Cocktail

The sidecar is one of the best cocktails of all time. It is as popular today as it was a century ago and a brilliant introduction to the allure of well-balanced sour drinks.

The recipe was originally made with either cognac or Armagnac either will create one of the most enjoyable brandy cocktails you can mix up. In the modern bar, bourbon is often poured instead (making it technically a bourbon sidecar), and some drinkers enjoy it with premium cherry brandy.

Whichever base liquor you choose, be careful with the sidecar's other ingredients. It is very important to find the balance between sweet and sour, and too much lemon or liqueur can quickly destroy the intended flavor. A popular embellishment first mentioned in recipes from the early 1930s, a sugar-rimmed glass, adds a sweet contrast to the sour drink.

Click Play to See This Recipe Come Together


The Sidecar Cocktail

The sidecar is one of the best cocktails of all time. It is as popular today as it was a century ago and a brilliant introduction to the allure of well-balanced sour drinks.

The recipe was originally made with either cognac or Armagnac either will create one of the most enjoyable brandy cocktails you can mix up. In the modern bar, bourbon is often poured instead (making it technically a bourbon sidecar), and some drinkers enjoy it with premium cherry brandy.

Whichever base liquor you choose, be careful with the sidecar's other ingredients. It is very important to find the balance between sweet and sour, and too much lemon or liqueur can quickly destroy the intended flavor. A popular embellishment first mentioned in recipes from the early 1930s, a sugar-rimmed glass, adds a sweet contrast to the sour drink.

Click Play to See This Recipe Come Together


Watch the video: Qu0026A With the BAR Experts: Babis Kaidalidis - Founder of Bar Academy (May 2022).