I was recently at a wine brunch where a guy asked me what my favorite spirit is. As usual I replied, “Cognac”. He seemed a bit shocked as he started to tell me that all of his banking colleagues selected Scotch over Cognac and nobody is drinking Cognac. He picked the wrong person to say that to, because I know different. Cognac is actually going through a bit of a renaissance. I immediately school him on some very specific Cognac information.
Cognac is known as the “king of brandy’. It’s had the reputation of being a spirit for older men or rappers. All that made it sound old fashioned or scared some people away. With the help of bartenders putting more Cognac in cocktails and the history of the spirit being a larger part of the conversation, people have started to catch on that Cognac is spirit that they shouldn’t ignore.
Since the booze market has changed, Cognac houses are responding to a new generation of drinkers. While you have probably heard of Hennessy and Remy Martin which are two of the larger Cognac brands, there are other brands that you should try such as CAMUS Cognac.
Maybe you are asking yourself, why you haven’t heard of CAMUS (pronounced Ka-Moo) ? That being said, they are the 5th best selling Cognac, which isn’t to shabby. They are also still 100% family owned making them the top independent Cognac. The company still thinks of themselves as the new kid on the block since the other top Cognac brands have been around 100-150 years longer than them. One could call those years a big advantage. CAMUS didn’t enter the US market until 2010. They have a little catching up to do. However, they seem to be gaining on the bigger brands and making some waves.
As a way to show off their fierce spirit, CAMUS recently revamped their packaging to appeal to new Cognac drinkers. The design has the house’s emblem, the clover leaf, engraved on the bottle with the signature of Cyril Camus, the current CAMUS President. I hope I get to talk Cognac with him one day. I love that he is leading the way in captivating more drinkers to this elegant and versatile spirit.
What I know for sure is that once people try CAMUS, they tend to fall in love with it. Be prepared to have it as a staple in your home bar. To get you going with CAMUS cocktails below is a recipe for spin on the margarita.
2 oz. CAMUS VSOP Cognac
1 oz. lime juice
1 oz. orange juice
1 oz. Cointreau
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a glass. Garnish with a slice of lime.