…on good food, questionable judgment, and making life work
One of my biggest beefs in the world is how cognac, which was once regarded as a fine, civilized beverage, was stolen by the hip-hop culture. And now we have shit like this:
Thanks, hip hop. This is also why liquor stores can’t put bottles out on the sales floor, especially the smaller ones, because it is the #1 most-shoplifted spirit, and 5th most shoplifted item overall IN THE WORLD. And also, get off my lawn, kids!
Sigh, anywho, what most people don’t realize is that back in the day, cognac was one of the most-consumed spirits in the world. As a matter-of-fact, many common cocktails that we associate with whiskey were originally made with cognac, as it was far more accessible. Mint Juleps and Old Fashioneds to name a few.
Which brings me to my subjects today. The fine folks at Pierre Ferrand teamed up with the god of cocktails himself, David Wondrich, to create two spirits with a primary focus on bringing back the history of the spirits.
First up is Pierre Ferrand 1840 – a cognac specifically designed for cocktails and it won best new spirit of 2012 at Tales of The Cocktail down in New Orleans:
The main differences with this spirit and standard cognac, are that it is a darker and richer spirit, more designed to blend in a cocktail and less so for sippin’ up in the club. I’ve been using it for a few years now, price point is about $40ish, and it is worth every penny when it comes to making a great craft cocktail. It is great in everything, from an old-school Julep to one of my favorites, a sidecar. Here’s one of my favorite variations on the classic sidecar, The Tantris Sidecar, which is from The Pegu Club in NYC (and also happens to be one of Rachel Maddow’s all-time favorite tipples). This cocktail really has it all; complexity, depth, and alcohol content.
The Tantris Sidecar
1 1⁄4 oz. Courvoisier VS Cognac
1⁄2 oz. calvados (fine)
1⁄2 oz. Cointreau
1⁄2 oz. lemon juice
1⁄2 oz. simple syrup (1:1)
1⁄4 oz. pineapple juice
1⁄4 oz. Green Chartreuse
Tools: shaker, strainer
Garnish: glass is 1⁄2-rimmed with sugar & lemon twist sprayed on top
Combine all ingredients in shaker. Shake, strain into glass and garnish.
The second great gift of the Pierre Ferrand/Wondrich marriage is Dry Curaçao, but honestly, this stuff deserves its own post…