The Cognac Cocktails To Drink at Bars Around the U.S.

 In Features, Spotlight

The Cognac Classic Crawl is underway in Los Angeles and Chicago, and in celebration of this aromatic and much-loved amber-hued spirit, we found 10 of the best Cognac-based cocktails from top spots all around the country.

Cognac – a type of brandy produced in the Cognac region of France using a double distillation process – is delicious when served neat, but these drinks, created by some of the most creative bartenders in the industry, help showcase the unique and rich flavors.

Raise a glass to Cognac today, and every day!

Saint-Emilion Fizz at Deadshot

Credit: Elliot Clark/@apartment_bartender

  • 2 oz. Cognac
  • .5 oz. grapefruit juice
  • .5 oz. lime juice
  • .5 oz. hibiscus grenadine
  • .5 oz. Aperol
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1.5 oz. soda water

Combine all ingredients in a mixing tin, add ice and shake until chilled. Add the soda to the mixing tin and double strain into an ice-filled Collins glass. Garnish with mint and a lime wheel.

Adam Robinson of Deadshot in Portland recently opened up about how he “really embraced the culture of Cognac over the last few years” and this cocktail creation certainly showcases that. “This cocktail is inspired by Oregon,” says Robinson. “We are utilizing several local products – the cherry shrub was made from the last local cherries we got last year, shrubs being a vinegar-based syrup often made to use up product before it turns.” Oregon, he explains is also the largest producer of Hazelnuts in the USA, and the black walnut bitters “were made last season from a friends walnut tree. It’s essentially some of my favorite local products all together with my favorite spirit. ”

2133 SE 11th Ave., Portland, OR 97214; 503-504-9448; @deadshotpdx

Daquirac at Columbia Room

columbia-room-dc

  • 1.5 oz. Cognac
  • .5 oz Plantation Stiggin’s Fancy Pineapple Rum
  • .75 oz rich simple syrup (2:1 cane sugar)
  • .75 oz fresh lime juice
  • 2 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters
  • 4 drops of salt tincture (20% solution)
  • Absinthe rinse

Rinse a large coupe with absinthe. Build in tin and give a good shake. Double strain into coupe.

At Washington D.C.’s Columbia Room, Head Bartender Suzy Critchlow gets creative with the Daquirac – a mash-up of a Sazerac and a Daiquiri. “As the original Sazerac was made with Cognac we decided to include that as an ingredient,” explains Critchlow. “We had fun with adding some Plantation Stiggin’s Fancy pineapple rum in place of the classic white rum along with fresh lime, sugar, Peychaud’s and an absinthe rinse.”

Critchlow says she chose a large coupe for this cocktail “so that you get more of the aroma from the absinthe rinse as you would in a Sazerac. Though it is not on the menu per se, we still make this cocktail frequently as it is a guest favorite.”

124 Blagden Alley, NW, Washington, DC 20001; 202-316-9396; columbiaroomdc.com; @columbiaroom

Le Vieux Moulin at Drink

le-vieux-moulin

  • 1.5 oz Cognac
  • 1.5 oz Santa Maria Al Monte Amaro
  • .25 gomme syrup (2:1)

Pour over ice and stir to dilute and integrate. Serve with an orange twist.

It’s no secret that Ezra Star, General Manager at Drink in Boston is a fan of Cognac. And this cocktail is an ode to the amber-hued spirit. “Lately, I’ve been really obsessed with equal part cocktails that call for little modification,” explains Star. “This is one of my favorites combining two ingredients I love. Its name refers to an old windmill near the Né river in Cognac.”

348 Congress St., Boston. MA 02210; 617-695-1806; www.drinkfortpoint.com; @drinkfortpoint

Jimmie Roosevelt at Rosina

  • .75 oz. Cognac
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • .25 oz. cane syrup
  • .25 oz. green chartreuse

Served in a wine glass and garnished with a lemon twist.

“The Jimmie Roosevelt is classic from the ‘gentleman’s companion,’” says Evan Hasaka, Lead Bartender at Rosina, located at the Palazzo Las Vegas. “It’s a wonderfully complex champagne cocktail that is a delicious challenge for the taste buds of any connoisseur.”

3325 S Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89109; 702-607-1945; www.palazzo.com/rosina; @rosinabar

House Old Fashioned at Gaspar Brasserie

gaspar-brasserie

Credit: Zaque Gallus

  • 2 oz. Cognac
  • .25 oz Demerara
  • Dash chocolate bitters
  • Dash Peychaud’s bitters
  • Dash Angostura bitters

Stir all ingredients with ice, strain into an Old Fashioned glass, garnish with orange and lemon peel. Sip and enjoy the warm glow.

This French brasserie in the heart of San Francisco’s Financial District boasts that largest selection of Cognac in the city, making it the perfect place to enjoy a Cognac-based drink, like this one by Bar Manager Myoko Shallenberger along with authentic French fare and live jazz.

185 Sutter St., San Francisco, CA 94104; 415-675-8800; www.gasparbrasserie.com; @gasparbrasserie

Let’s Bee Clear at Union Lodge No. 1

lets-bee-clear

Credit: Nicole Pacha/Union Lodge No. 1

  • 2.5 oz Clarified Cognac Milk Punch
  • .75 oz Cognac
  • .5 oz yellow chartreuse
  • 3 drops of Kübler Absinthe
  • Honey and Spanish bee pollen rim

Garnish with Babies Breath Flowers using mini clothespin.

Known for their killer cocktails and attention to details, this cocktail from Denver’s Union Lodge No. 1 is not to be missed. Made with a unique blend of Clarified Cognac Milk Punch along with Cognac, yellow Chartreuse and absinthe, it’s a true tribute to Cognac.

1543 Champa St., Denver, CO 80202; 720-389-0447; www.unionlodge1.com; @unionlodge1

Never the Twain Shall Meet at Castalia

sfumatococktails0010

Credit: Emily Berger/Castalia at Sfumato

  • 1 oz. Cognac
  • 1 oz. Blanco Tequila muddled with mint
  • .5 oz Strega Herbal Liqueur
  • 1 dash galangal tincture
  • 1 dash orange bitters

Stir over ice and strain. Garnish with mint leaf and spray cocktail napkin with Sfumato Fragrances’ Apricity to serve.

Located in Midtown, Detroit in the garden level of a 1880s Gothic Victorian mansion, Castalia operates inside the Sfumato Fragrance boutique on Wednesday through Saturday evenings, offering up some of the city’s most inventive drinks, like this one.

3980 Second Ave., Detroit, MI 48201; 313-305-1442; www.castaliacocktails.com; @castaliacocktails

French 75 at Le Boudoir Brooklyn

Credit: Nicole Franzen

  • .5 oz. of simple syrup
  • .5 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 oz. VS Cognac
  • 2 oz. Brut Champagne

Add all ingredients to mixing tin. Short shake with ice. Strain into chalice. Top with 2 oz Brut Champagne, stir once to integrate. Garnish with manicured lemon twist.

Ms. Franky Marshall, Beverage Director at Le Boudoir in Brooklyn, is another Cognac devotee – and her cocktail pays homage to the spirit. “I’ve had this on the menu since we opened, and it continues to be a crowd pleaser,” explains Marshall. “I use a VS in the spring and summer, then switch to a VSOP during the colder months. This is a true classic: great for anyone, even for those who have never had Cognac before.”

135 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11202; 347-227-8337; www.boudoirbk.com; @leboudoirbrooklyn

Voulez Vieux Carre at Gunshow

Credit: Mercedes O’Brien/Gunshow

  • 1 oz. foie Cognac*
  • 1 oz. duck Rittenhouse**
  • .75 oz. Spruce vermouth***
  • .25 oz. Benedictine & Honey reduction****
  • 3 dashes Drops and Dashes nut bitters

Combine all ingredients into mixing glass, add ice, and stir until well chilled. Strain into large rocks with large ice cube. Express orange peel across top and lip and discard. Garnish with spruce tip.

*Foie Cognac

  • 750 ml Cognac
  • 4 oz. rendered foie fat

Add ingredients into vacuum sealed bag. Place in sous vide water bath at 72C for 3 hours. Place in ice bath until fat is solid, and cheesecloth strain.

**Duck Rittenhouse

  • 750 ml Rittenhouse 100
  • 4 oz rendered duck fat

Add ingredients into vacuum sealed bag. Place in sous vide water bath at 72C for 3 hours. Place in ice bath until fat is solid, and cheesecloth strain.

*Spruce Vermouth

  • 24 oz. Carpano Antica
  • 8 oz Punt e Mes
  • 10 oz. spruce tips

In a Vitamix, add all ingredients and lightly pulse. Transfer to a nonporous container and let infuse for three hours. Pass through cheesecloth, bottle, and refrigerate.

**Benedictine & Honey reduction

  • 16 oz Benedictine
  • 8 oz honey

Add all ingredients to small pot, bring to simmer and let reduce until nappe. Let cool, bottle, and refrigerate.

924 Garrett St., Atlanta, GA 30316; 404-380-1886; www.gunshowatl.com; @gunshowatl

Mont Blanc at The Berry & Rye

  • 2 oz. Cognac
  • .75 oz. Dolin Blanc
  • .3 oz. Averna
  • .25 oz. Luxardo

The Mont Blanc peak in the Alps is a favorite of Brooke Shoemaker, Beverage Director at The Berry & Rye – and the inspiration for this drink. “My love of Cognac, Dolin Blanc and even the mountains are all combined in this silky sipper,” Shoemaker says. “The cocktail literally takes you to the summit of Mont Blanc with its cool finish and that fresh spritz of orange oil.”

1105 Howard St., Omaha, NE 68102; 402-613-1331; www.theberryandrye.com; @theberryandrye

Follow @cognacUSA to discover #cognacinyourcity through this one-of-a kind, versatile spirit and some of the US’s top bartenders.

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