As you may know I’m a big fan of Cognac. In the past few years, it’s been making a comeback with those who appreciate a good cocktail. The spirit has such a rich history that goes back to kings and the aristocrats.
The BNIC (Bureau National Interprofessional du Cognac) would love for us all to raise a glass to celebrate this sensuous spirit on National Cognac Day. I know I’m ready. How about you?
If Cognac had a dating profite it would look a little something like this: Only produced in one place in the world (yes, Cognac is actually also a town in France). Elegantly versatile with a distinctive range of aging categories. It’s also the base of three classic cocktails: Vieux Carré, Brandy Crusta and French 75.
Any and all of these factors justify why Cognac*, deserves to be celebrated. On June 4th, grab some tonic, dust off your bar tools or break out your good sipping glass, and join us in paying homage to this storied spirit for National Cognac Day.
Still need more convincing? Take it from the following experts on why Cognac should be a part of your drinking rotation.
Reason 1: It’s Damn Delicious
“Celebrate for the simple reason that cognac is delicious. Swapping out cognac for rye in a Manhattan or bourbon in a sour or daisy is as easy as picking up a different bottle, so it’s certainly not a tough spirit to mix with, especially the younger V.S. and V.S.O.P. bottlings that don’t cost an arm and a leg.” — Joaquín Simó of Pouring Ribbons, New York
Reason 2: Experience the OG Spirit
“It is the original brown spirit of America. French settlers brought the best of France to America hoping to reproduce its elegance in the New World. It is believed that cognac was in one of America’s first and most influential cocktails, the Sazerac.” — Tobin Shea of Redbird, Los Angeles
Reason 3: Take Your Meal to the Next Level
“Cognac provides a great realm of flavor, texture, and aroma that has yet to be extensively explored in modern American mixology. Its acidity makes it an exceptionally good spirit for pairing with a wide range of foods, both neat and in cocktails. Not many spirits can make that claim as a category.” — Cognac Educator H. Joseph Ehrmann of Elixir, San Francisco
Reason 4: It Hits All the Right Notes
“There is a myriad of flavors in a single bottle of Cognac. Because by law it is aged for no less than two years in oak, there are flavors of vanilla and spice, and because it is made from fruit, you will find fruit and floral notes. On its own it’s a journey in a glass, but it is also one of the most versatile spirits to mix with. It shines equally well in bright citrusy cocktails as it does in rich stirred spirit forward cocktails and everywhere in between.” — Cognac Educator Kellie Thorn of Empire State South, Atlanta
Reason 5: “The One” is Out There Waiting for You
“There has never been a better time to enjoy this storied spirit. There is a cognac for every palate and budget, you just have to seek them out — but that’s the fun part.” — Cognac Educator Ms. Franky Marshall, Modern Bartender, New York
*87.4 million bottles exported to the US in 2018