Cognac is a spirit that is often drunk neat or on the rocks due the depth of its flavour, and the centuries-old craft which goes into distilling, aging and blending to create the precious liquid. But if mixed in the right way and with the right ingredients, cocktails can enhance the layers of flavour and aroma contained within the cognac. It’s La Maison Martell’s mission to ensure that every time you taste one of our cognacs you experience the true essence of the spirit. So we’ve curated some helpful tips to help you create bespoke Martell cocktails, perfect for special nights with friends and family.
Younger cognacs like Martell VS or VSOP work well in cocktails. Mixing changes the solubility of the aromatic molecules, which helps to accentuate and highlight particular flavours rather than mask them.
Cognacs have great complexity: chose ingredients that will accentuate or complement the key flavours. If you want to get creative, a guide like The Flavour Thesaurus can be invaluable in selecting cocktail ingredients http://www.flavourthesaurus.com/about-author-niki-segnit
Every craftsman needs the right tools! If you plan on making cocktails regularly it is worth investing in a cocktail shaker and a strainer. If not, you can improvise by shaking drinks in a sealed kilner jar. Other improvisations include: use a long teaspoon for a mixing spoon and the end of a wooden spoon for a muddler. The holy grail of creating a great cocktail is achieving the right balance of sweet, sour, bitter and spice. Be precise - measure all your ingredients carefully.
Choose fresh ingredients. The taste and aromas of bottled ingredients don’t work as well. Plan ahead and buy plenty of the relevant citrus fruit (if you’re having friends over you will need a lot) - as a guide one lemon yields approx. 25-35ml of juice.
Chill your glass – it will keep your drinks colder for longer. Simply put your glass in the freezer for a few minutes or rinse in ice cold water. If you’re having a warm cocktail, the same rule applies – warm your glass.
It’s a myth that using too much ice will dilute your drink. In fact, filling the glass with ice keeps the total temperature lower so the ice doesn’t melt as quickly. Make sure you also use plenty of ice in your cocktail shaker to chill your drink properly.
Click on the ‘Cocktails’ tab below to see Martell drinks recipes.