Should you warm up cognac?

    Is it recommended to warm up cognac? 

    If your cognac has been stored below room temperature you may be wondering if you can warm it up without compromising its quality. Have you read about warmed cognac on specialist websites, and would you like to know more? Find out all there is to know about warming cognac in this article. 


    Do you drink cognac warm or cold?  

    Serving and tasting cognac at the right temperature is crucial to fully appreciate its complexity and depth. The optimal serving temperature unlocks the aromas, leading to a truly exceptional sensory journey. The sweetness, acidity, and bitterness perfectly integrate, delivering a full spectrum of flavours.  


    Good to know: The ideal temperature to serve cognac  

    Cognac is best enjoyed at room temperature, which is typically around 18-20°C. This releases a rich blend of expressive flavours.  


    Martell does not recommend warming cognac artificially as the alcohol can overpower the delicate scents. Artificial warming causes the aromas to be released too quickly as the alcohol concentrates at the top of the glass. This not only burns the sensory cells in the nose but also compromises the exceptional flavour. 


    What is cognac warming?  

    The cognac warming ritual is a matter of personal preference, and Martell does not advocate the use of a cognac warmer. Heating cognac with a warmer can lead to the loss of delicate aromas and can detract from the complexity of balance of a well-crafted cognac. To fully appreciate its inherent qualities, we suggest the authentic warming process through the use of body heat. 


    How do you warm cognac and why? 

    Whether enjoying cognac neat or on the rocks, as an after-dinner drink or to complement a dessert, warming cognac naturally unlocks its spectrum of flavours and scents. Cognac should never be heated artificially as this impairs the flavour. The natural warming process, serving the liquid at room temperature and letting it absorb the body’s heat through the hand is the ideal way to enjoy your Martell cognac. 


    Cognac warmer

    A cognac glass warmer is sometimes used to heat the liquid of some cognacs. This usually comprises a candle and a stand that holds and slightly tilts the cognac glass.  Martell do not advocate this method as it destroys the natural flavours. 

    However you prefer to drink your cognac, our preference is to use the natural method to warm it to room temperature, giving the alcohol time to release its full potential.


    The natural way to warm cognac  

    Martell cognacs are best served at room temperature, allowing the liquid to naturally warm as you hold the glass. The gentle heat from the body helps to release the aromas and elevate the tasting experience without the need for a cognac warmer. 


    Good to know: Choosing the right glass

    The glass you select will also influence the taste of the cognac. Rather than the usual balloon glass, Martell cognacs are best appreciated in a tulip glass. 


    A traditional cognac glass helps concentrate and capture the aromas of the liquid as they are released through warming. This enables you to better savour the bouquet of this complex spirit. A cognac glass should be elegant and contribute to the appreciation of the ritual. The design of the glass also allows you to hold it comfortably, gently warming the cognac as you hold and swirl the glass.  


    To experience the exceptional flavour of a quality Martell cognac: 

    • Inhale the fusion of aromas without swirling the liquid. This brings out the hidden nuances in the spirit and allows you to fully appreciate its complexity. 
    • Swirl the cognac in the glass. How you hold the glass is essential to the warming. The base of the glass should be cupped in the palm of the hand, whilst supporting the stem with the middle and ring finger. 
    • Take a small sip and savour the velvet texture and richness of our superior cognacs.  

    This whole process, from warming the glass in the hand to swirling the liquid causes the temperature to elevate very slightly, delivering a unique cognac experience. 


    While using a tulip glass can enhance the enjoyment of cognac, it’s important to remember that the glass should be used alongside the correct tasting techniques. This means warming the cognac gently and sipping slowly to fully appreciate the aromas and flavours. 


    Why is cognac warmed?  

    Cognac is warmed naturally to enhance the sensory experience of this prestigious spirit. It should be allowed to reach room temperature slowly, without the aid of artificial heat.  

    Martell recommends warming cognac naturally to allow you to fully appreciate the complexity of the liquid and the abundance of flavours. If you warm cognac artificially you will lose the unique flavour and aroma of the spirit.    


    Drinking cognac at room temperature releases the intricate notes of the cognac, providing a comforting and soothing experience. Artificial methods are not recommended if you wish to savour the genuine Martell taste.  

    Please do not share with anyone under 18. Drink responsibly.