Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Cognac & Other Brandy Cocktails


A rocks glass rests on a wooden board on a marble table. The glass is filled with an orange drink over a large ice cube with an orange peel.
Image: / Tim Nusog

When the leaves start to change from green to gold and orange, when the winds pick up and the gray skies arrive, it’s time to switch the summery cocktails for darker, deeper and warming ones. But while hot drinks are definitely a staple of cold-weather imbibing, a drink doesn’t have to be served warm to make you feel warm. Take, for instance, the Flannel, a cold-weather cognac drink that, while served over ice, will help drive the chill from your bones like a warm flannel shirt.

Cognac, a signature liquor of France, is a quintessential winter spirit because of its lush, rich qualities. The good thing about the style is that it’s hard to go wrong with a brand. You can always pick reliable names like Courvoisier, Hennessy or Rémy Martin, but whatever cognac you end up using will likely be a good choice. You can even branch into other brandies, as a number of distillers across the world have mastered the craft and produce cognac-level spirits. Or you can get really autumnal and swap cognac for an apple or pear eau de vie, though this will dramatically change the characteristics of the Flannel.

The other essential winter drink ingredient is allspice dram, of which there are fewer options on shelves. The most ubiquitous label is St Elizabeth, but in recent years other distilleries, including Cotton & Reed in Washington, D.C., have started to produce the liqueur.

But what really makes the Flannel an autumnal treat is the way apple cider is included. Rather than adding the cider right into the drink as is, the cider gets reduced into a rich, sweet syrup that can be used in place of simple syrup. Besides the Flannel, it can also be used to add an autumnal touch to classics like the Bourbon Old Fashioned or Hot Toddy.


  • 1 ounce cognac
  • 1/4 ounce allspice dram
  • 1/2 ounce apple cider syrup*
  • 1/4 ounce orange juice
  • Garnish: orange peel


  1. Add cognac, allspice dram, apple cider syrup and orange juice into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.

  2. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass over a large ice cube.

  3. Garnish with an orange peel.

*Apple cider syrup:​ ​In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups​ freshly pressed ​​​apple cider​ to a boil. Reduce heat and continue to simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced to ​1 cup (about 1 hour). Remove from the heat and ​let​ cool. Will keep, refrigerated, for up to ​2 weeks. ​