Ah, brandy: your father’s favorite after-dinner sipper. While other spirits have shined during today’s cocktail renaissance, this distilled wine spirit has mostly played coy, satisfied with being drunk neat from an elegant snifter. Well, this golden liquor warrants a new spotlight, like the one it it had back in the years before Prohibition. Back then, cocktails like the Sidecar and the original Sazerac held drinkers’ hearts firmly in their grip. So dust off the brandy in gramp’s liquor cabinet, grab your cocktail kit and get ready for these new—and classic—brandy cocktails to try right now.
New to brandy? Let whiskey guide your way in this classic cocktail. Born in New Orleans, the Vieux Carré combines the two spirits with sweet vermouth and Bénédictine for a smooth flavor. If you’re a fan of Sazeracs or Manhattans, branch out in a brandy direction.
Named after the turn-of-the-century exotic dancer (and possible spy), this extravagant cocktail made at New York’s Employees Only requires some prep work. Featuring chai-infused sweet vermouth along with pomegranate and cognac, the Mata Hari assassinates the idea that chai is just for mornings.