Sip a glass of cognac and you’ll understand why the French say it’s made from l’eau de vie (the water of life). The velvety spirit is the most famous variety of brandy and is named for the area in France where it must be produced.
The area around the town of Cognac, France, is divided into six grape-growing regions. The most expensive fruit comes from Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne and Borderies. Once picked, the grapes are fermented and then distilled twice in copper pot stills, which produce a colorless alcohol called eau-de-vie. The spirit is then aged in oak barrels. Most cognacs are a blend of different eaux-de-vie of varying ages and qualities.
Cognacs are classified into a few general categories: VS, or very special, must be aged at least two years; VSOP, or very superior old pale, must be aged at least four years; and XO, or extra-old, must be aged at least six years.
HOW TO DRINK COGNAC:
Sip aged cognacs neat, with perhaps a drop or two of water. Younger cognacs are perfect for mixing and are the base of many classic cocktails, including the Sidecar, the Between the Sheets and even the original Mint Julep. The spirit may also be simply added to a flute of Champagne or a glass of ginger ale, or enjoyed with a splash of soda water.
Eggnog Is Great. But This Holiday Season, Go for a Beautifully Clear Milk Punch.
How to make a lighter, clearer holiday treat.
Experience Cognac Like Never Before at Hennessy’s Le Grand Voyage
Go to Brooklyn for an immersive, sensory trip to the Cognac region of France.
Jim Meehan’s New Bar Is a Beautiful Ode to Frank Lloyd Wright
Chicago is one lucky drinking town.
What Cocktail Won the 2018 Tequila Herradura Legends Competition?
Discover which bartender became the new Tequila Herradura Legend.
Meet the Newest Face of Hong Kong’s Exciting Drink Scene
Bringing southern France to the metropolis.
Why Your Favorite Booze Bottles Are Shaped the Way They Are. And Why You Should Care.
There’s a reason!
Nathan O’Neill Is the 2017 Bartender of the Year
Since August 2016, top bartenders from across the nation have been competing for the title of 2017 Bartender of the Year. Liquor.com and Heaven Hill Brands put out a call for entries for the second year of the competition. Bartenders responded with an overwhelming number of original cocktail recipes featuring Domaine de Canton French Ginger […]
You Ready for the Best Kind of Italian Bar Hospitality?
These two Italians have brought it to the States.
What Happens When Plant Obsessives Open a Bar?
Inside Vancouver’s Botanist.
This Is the Bar That Started Athens’ Drinking Culture
Baba Au Rum began it all.
Go Inside Tongue-Cut Sparrow. It’s Bobby Heugel’s Swank New Houston Bar
The man behind Anvil and others gets extra serious.
The One-Trick Guide to Making Your Own Barrel-Aged Drinks
Talk about useful.
How Bar Goto Got It Right
The great New York bar nailed it out the gate.
The Incredible Return of the Nick & Nora Glass
A smaller glass means more drinks.
Cocktails That Change Color, Make Smoke, Sparkle and Do Other Magical Things