Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Cognac & Other Brandy Cocktails


Rebirth cocktail in a textured rocks glass, served over crushed ice and garnished with purple, pink and white flowers and a metal straw

Reilly Drew

Balance is vitally important when creating cocktails, and acid—often in the form of citrus—is one of the best and most common ways to achieve that balance. However, there’s more than one way to add acid to a drink, as shown by creative bartenders who are experimenting with other sources, from vinegar to DIY acid solutions.

“Don’t be intimidated by using other acids,” says Vinny Starble, the head bartender at Bad Hunter in Chicago. “Get your hands on some powders, verjus, still wine, vinegar, etc., and start mixing and tasting. The more you taste how these ingredients interact with cocktails, the stronger your palate gets at understanding the base-level balance between sugar, spirit and acid.” In his Re:Birth cocktail, he uses a tartaric acid solution to balance sake and brandy with the herbaceous flavors of grappa-based chamomile liqueur and blackberry sage tea syrup. 

Alternative acids are cost-effective and allow for flavor expression through nontraditional methods and ingredients, making for increased versatility. They also reduce the waste associated with citrus fruits like lemons and limes, in which the juice is utilized but the solids are often discarded.

“There’s so much room for experimentation,” says Starble. “And if we as a community all start working with different ingredients, we can really change the way the next generation thinks about cocktails.” 


  • 1 ounce Kurosawa nigori sake

  • 1/2 ounce St. George pear brandy

  • 1/4 ounce Singani 63 brandy

  • 1/4 ounce Distilleria Gualco Camomila liqueur

  • 1/2 ounce blackberry sage tea syrup*

  • 4 dashes tartaric acid solution**

  • Garnish: edible flowers


  1. Add the sake, pear brandy, Singani 63, chamomile liqueur, blackberry sage tea syrup and tartaric acid solution into a rocks glass.

  2. Fill with crushed ice and swizzle until chilled.

  3. Garnish with edible flowers.

*Blackberry sage tea syrup: Steep 10 grams blackberry sage tea in 1000 grams boiling water for 3 minutes, then strain out tea leaves. Add 1000 grams sugar and whisk until dissolved.

**Tartaric acid solution: Combine 60 grams tartaric acid powder with 100 grams water. Stir until powder dissolves.