The world of France’s famously luxurious amber spirit may appear daunting at first. Just remember, the best way to drink cognac is always a question of personal taste. The best cognac for beginners may also be the best for aficionados.
A versatile food pairing with seafood, mains, entrées or desserts, Martell cognacs can be equally enjoyed at lunch or dinner, or as an elegant aperitif between.
There is no one perfect way to drink cognac, only myriad taste sensations that linger in the imagination. Even the most simple cognac cocktail cantantalise the taste buds, from the traditional Sazerac, to a Summer Collins, or elegant cognac and champagne cocktail.
A good cognac for beginners, is any served neat. This allows one to fully appreciate and understand the unique and different profiles of the Martell range.
Or serve cognac on ice, ‘on the rocks’, to create an ever-changing consumption experience as different aromas are revealed.
The glassware will transform the aromas of any cognac, whether served neat, on the rocks or as a mixed drink. If drinking neat, a tulip-shaped glass serves to perfectly orient the subtle aromas to the nose.
Pour a 30 ml serve of cognac into a tulip glass or other suitable glassware.
Start by examining the colour of the spirit. Take the glass by the stem and hold it to the light to appreciate the shade of amber. In general, the darker the cognac the older its maturitv.
Lift the glass to your nose, and notice the initial aromas. This sensation is called the ‘first nose’. Gently rotate the glass to aerate the cognac, and release its secondary characteristics.
Now take a first sip. Swish the cognac around the tongue and palate. Take in a small amount of air to fully appreciate the sensation of the cognac, and the elegance of its complexity in the mouth.
A. Swirl the glass to aerate the cognac and release its secondary aromas.
B. Pinch your nose to concentrate your senses.
C. Warm the cognac to release alcohol vapours.
D. Chill in freezer for 30 minutes before serving.
Learning how to serve cognac is only the first step towards mastering cognac. From food pairing with cognac, to cooking with cognac and mixing cognac drinks, take your skills to the next level with our ‘How to cognac’ series.
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