A good start to find out about Cognac is to understand what brandy really is – By fermenting wine and boiling it you make Brandy. Brandy is a spirit that has been aged in barrels and distilled and if it is done in the region of Cognac, then it is called Cognac. Cognac is a wine based Brandy that is made from ugni blanc grapes; however, there are a few other grapes that are used for it as well. There are few rules for making the ugni blanc grapes for one thing they must be aged in the Cognac region of France.
The ugni blanc grape is not only used in just Cognac. You can find it in Italy as well; however, it is called the Trebbiano Grape in Italy. When you look at the price of the Cognac, grapes are one of the reasons that the cost is so high is because of the grapes in the region do so well. The grapes do better because of the limestone in the soil in the area. Because of this and with the aging of the grapes a good bottle of Cognac will show its fruitiness many years after the bottle is made.
There are three different categories of Cognac:
• VS (very special) – this is aged two years in French oak barrels
• VSOP (very superior old pale) – this is aged four years in French oak barrels
• XO (extra old) – this is aged at least six years in French oak barrels
If you are looking to make a good drink with using Cognac you can try the one below:
1 1/2 oz. – VS or VSOP Cognac
3/4 oz. – Cointreau
3/4 oz.- fresh lemon juice
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass with a sugared rim.
Garnish with an orange peel
1 1/2 oz – Cognac
3/4 oz – white crème de menthe
Stir over ice cubes in an old-fashioned glass, and serve
1 oz – Cognac
1 oz – Brown crème de Cacao
1 oz – Heavy cream
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with Nutmeg
2 oz – Cognac
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp – powdered sugar
1/2 slice lemon
Shake brandy, juice of lemon, and powdered sugar with ice and strain into a whiskey sour glass. Decorate with the lemon slice, top with the cherry, and serve.
2 oz – pisco brandy or Cognac
1 oz – lime juice
1/4 oz – simple syrup
1/2 – egg white
1 dash Angostura bitters
Shake ingredients vigorously with ice. Strain into a champagne flute, and add the bitters as an aromatic garnish.