Cognac and champagne make for a wonderful pairing, especially in a cocktail.
But why is that so? While on first appearances cognac and champagne are two very different drinks, in fact they share much in common.
For starters, both champagne and cognac are derived from grapes that are controlled within an AOC appellation.
A famous, and protected, origin France’s famous ‘appellation d’origine contrôlée’, or controlled designation of origin, is a world-recognised marker of quality.
Alcohols produced in AOC regions are strictly controlled and regulated, obliged to follow rules for the grape varieties, cru, yield, and more.
The Cognac AOC terroir, for example, was established in 1936 and has six recognised crus: Borderies, Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Fins Bois, Bons Bois and Bois Ordinaires. (Despite their name, these cru are not the same region from which champagne is produced.)
For cognac, a single grape variety, Ugni Blanc accounts for 98% of cognac vineyards.
According to the Champagne AOC, the only three grape varieties allowed in its production are Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Meunier.
Second, is the savoir-faire.
The quality of the savoir-faire is integral for elaborating or crafting cognac and champagne.
They both rely on a demanding savoir-faire refined and passed on from one generation to the next.
At Maison Martell, the savoir-faire has been handed down from cellar master to cellar master for nine generations – and counting!
Then there is the ageing and finition processes. When it comes to ageing cognac and champagne, time is measured not in months, but in years.
At Maison Martell, eaux-de-vie age exclusively in fine-grained oak barrels, for several decades in some cases.
As you see, champagne and cognac have more in common than one might think.
It’s little surprise, then, that cognac and champagne can combine to make memorable cocktail combinations.
One of the more simple cognac cocktails with champagne is this recipe made with Martell VS.
The result is festive and sparkling, and ideal to celebrate with on any occasion. Experiment with fresh citrus juices and bitters in any number of ways to make your own variations on this classic.
Please do not share with anyone under 18. Drink responsibly.