Cognac’s versatility is part of its charm. And when learning how to drink cognac, it pays to keep this front of mind.
It can be drunk dry, with ice or diluted with a little water. Alone or with friends, with a meal or degustation. As a simple cocktail with cognac – or an elaborate one, in a mixed drink, with tea, or even drop by drop. The choice is yours, and yours alone.
If one is new to the rich world of cognac, an aged-based approach to drinking France’s famed amber spirit makes perfect sense.
Martell VS, made from eaux-de-vie aged for at least two years, is an ideal entry. One will experience first-hand the authentic aromas of grapes that distinguish cognac from other brandies, whiskies, or indeed any distilled spirit made from fruits and grains.
Next, Martell VSOP. This elegant cognac has refined and generous aromas, with luscious fruit notes and hints of wood and soft spice.
This will develop one’s understanding of the underlying aromas of a cognac and the effect of aging on taste, important stepping stones to best appreciate older, more intense cognacs such as Martell XO.
When drinking cognac neat, Maison Martell does not recommend heating the cognac. This is to avoid the alcohol expressing itself too strongly and the aromas being released too quickly.
Maison Martell also advises the use of a tulip glass rather than a balloon glass, as it allows a better appreciation of the cognac’s aromatic palette.
If one’s introduction to cognac is via a fondness for mixed drinks, here again Martell VS makes an ideal starting point. For cocktails, however, one will find Martell VSOP more often recommended among our extensive library of cocktail recipes, due to its nuance and subtlety. (Consult our cocktail recipes here.)
As you can see, when it comes to drinking cognac there is no one prescribed approach. Enjoy your Martell, your way.
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