How to drink Cognac correctly
We live in France so there's no way we were going to ignore June 4th, International Cognac Day. And to make sure you drink your Cognac properly today, I've found this great video. It gives you a few ideas for Cognac cocktails, food pairing and lots more interesting information. For example, would you have ever thought of pairing it with fish or blue cheese? I would have said chocolate Yes, but fish? That would be a big No. It's certainly an eye-opener, and I'm seeing this fabulous drink in a new light. I've only ever had it in liquor coffees before, but now.. Well, the world is my drinks cabinet! I might even try and come up with a new hot tub Cognac cocktail. It would certainly keep you warm on some of those chilly evenings.
What's the difference between cognac and brandy?
Cognac is only made from grapes, whereas brandy can be 'any distilled spirit made from fermented fruit juice'. They only use certain grape varieties to, specifically, the ugni blanc variety which a wine that is ideal for distillation. And most importantly, it has to come from the Cognac region of France - between the Charente river and the French Atlantic. It's distilled twice between November and March, and aged for at least two years in oak barrels. But not just any old oak barrels - it has to be Tronçais or Limousin oak.
Did you know that in 1898 when Britain’s first escalator was installed at Harrods, cognac was offered to everyone went on it? That doesn't really surprise me. Because if you can imagine in those days, and someone invites you to step onto this huge moving staircase. You'd need something to calm your nerves. I certainly would!
In China, Rémy Martin is called réntóumă (人头马). It means 'man-headed horse' (the Remy Martin logo is the shape of a centaur). They call it 'réntóumă' because in Asia not many people can pronounce Rémy Martin.
The biggest market for Cognac is the US, followed by Singapore and China. Only 2 - 3% of all the Cognac produced is sold in France.
And finally, so that you still have a bit of time left to celebrate International Cognac Day, here's a link to 16 Impressive Cognac Cocktails. My favourite is the French 75. What's your?
50 ml gin, or cognac, to taste
1 teaspoon sugar syrup
10 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
100 ml Champagne
Twist of lemon for garnish
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