Friday, April 15, 2016

Cognac Coupling

Cognac is France's national spirit. It is to France as Bourbon is to the U.S. and scotch is to Scotland. Unlike whiskey, it is made of grapes (the juice peels, seeds and stems) fermented and distilled and aged. It is aged in barrels that formerly held wines, ports, and sherries. That is why it combines well with tawny port, which provides a nice foam when shaken. But the nutty tasting port is less important in the flavor of this cocktail as the absinthe or Pernod and the Peychaud's bitters, which really balance this drink away from being overly sweet.

I used Remy Martin 1738 for the cognac, which makes for a very sherry-forward first sip. I also reduced the proportion of absinthe from 1/2 oz. Pernod to 1 tsp. Absente Refined (a stronger and dryer spirit with lots of wormwood botanical) so as not to overwhelm. Altogether, this was a very balanced and very French cocktail.
  • 2 oz. cognac (Remy Martin 1738 Accord Royal used)
  • 1 oz. tawny port
  • 1/2 oz. Pernod
  • several dashes Peychaud's bitters
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail or coup glass. 

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