Cognac Cocktails

We’re big fans of cognac. There are lots of lovely bottlings out there, and quite a number of delicious cocktails to use them in. We have a number of really nice cognacs in the cabinet, so we decided to try several of them in two different drinks to see how they came out. We decided to go with a Munich Sour for a citrus-heavy tiki style drink, and a Parisian for a more spirit forward style drink.

munich-sour-finalMunich Sour

  • 2 oz cognac
  • 2 1/2 oz orange juice
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz orgeat
  • 1/4 oz simple syrup

Shake with ice, strain into a glass and enjoy!


  • Nose: Orange blossom, orgeat, faint buttered popcorn scent.
  • Palate: Very floral start, orange blossom with a little bit of jasmine.  Then lemon and a strong appearance from the almond-y orgeat. Acidic, wine-y finish, reminiscent of fermenting fruit. Toffee and vanilla notes throughout from the cognac, underpinning the other flavors.

Maison Surrenne:

  • Nose: Very light nose, orange and lemon
  • Palate: Orange and lemon to start, the orgeat is muted. Clear bitter orange peel notes. Very clean, very citrus-y drink. Not spirit forward, rather everything works in concert. You can taste the cognac throughout the drink, but it doesn’t stand out or add depth compared to the Delamain.

parisian-finalParisian (Romee de Goriainoff)

  • 1 1/2 oz cognac
  • 1/2 oz St. Germain
  • 1/4 oz fernet (We backed this down from the original recipe which called for 1/2 oz. We felt with the more interesting cognacs that the fernet overwhelmed the spirit)
  • 1 dash Peychaud’s bitters
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a glass and garnish with 3 brandied cherries.

Pierre Ferrand 1840 & Fernet Branca:

  • Nose: Touch of cognac, molasses, camphor
  • Palate: Fairly sweet open, very minty finish. Cognac and St. Germain to start. Camphor and some molasses. Tobacco and then bitter finish. Nice mouth feel.

Paul Giraud & Luxardo Fernet:

  • Nose: Cognac, floral from St. Germain, root beer
  • Palate: Opens with the cognac, then herbal/floral notes from the liqueurs with a chocolate-y bite at the end of the mid-palate. Finishes with more cognac and a little bit of mint, strong bitterness.

Cognac is great in a broad variety of drinks. As much as any other spirit, the cognac you use makes a huge difference in terms of the final drink. We recommend trying variations of a drink with several kinds of cognac (and for gods’ sakes choose some nice ones :); it makes a big difference) to see what you like best. We hope after some experimentation, you’ll agree that cognac isn’t just an after dinner drink.

This entry was posted in Cocktail Comparisons, cognac, fernet, orange juice and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Cognac Cocktails

  1. Greg Zyn says:

    These cognac cocktails are awesome, and if you make a few of these at home, then you should invite me over to taste these drinks. I’ll tell you whether these drinks are up to standards or not.

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