Cognac Cocktails and Drinks at the bar – the 30 best

No-one can deny that the way we enjoy Cognac has changed almost beyond all recognition over the past couple of decades.  The use of Cognac in mixed drinks and cocktails is now commonplace in virtually every country around the world.  You only need look at the fact of many Cognac brands producing lines that are intended to specifically be used in cocktails to realise how much our beloved drink has embraced the 21st century.  It was probably in the USA that Cognac cocktails first became truly popular, and the trend was soon followed by nations the world over.  For example,  look at the ‘beautiful people’ of China sipping their Cognac cocktails in the hottest night clubs and bars and you can appreciate how true this is.

So, to celebrate this, we decided to create the Cognac Expert ‘top 30′ best Cognac Cocktails and mixed drinks list.  And if that’s not enough for you, then make sure you check out our  Cognac Drinks & Cocktails section.

Oh, and as an aside, we thought we’d mention that whilst we’re not huge fans of sweet cocktails, we do enjoy a Cognac tonic on occasion.  And, in our humble opinion, swopping from that ‘yellow tonic’ that’s used by most people, to Fever Tree Tonic only increases the enjoyment of the drink…

Fever Tree tonic

Fever Tree tonic

Since 1996, the governing body of Cognac – the BNIC – has been promoting the use of Cognac as a component of cocktails and mixed drinks.  And not only the BNIC, but the Cognac houses themselves.  For example, Bisquit Cognac in South Africa promote a cocktail know as the Summit.  So let’s look at that one a little more closely.

Summit Cocktail

Summit Cocktail

The Summit Cocktail was created in 2008 specifically for the occasion known as the International Cognac Summit, an event by the BNIC. Mixologists and other cognac experts joined forces with the aim of creating the ultimate cognac cocktail. The cocktail had to be simple to produce, with easily accessible ingredients. It also had to look fabulous –  and, naturally, taste amazing.   It took a few days, but eventually the Summit was born.

  • 4 slices of ginger
  • 1 lime slice
  • 4 cl VSOP Cognac
  • 6 cl lemonade
  • a fine peel of cucumber

But knowing the ingredients is only half the story.  How you mix them together is key to creating the perfect cocktail.  So here’s how you do it:

Place the lime and ginger into a glass, and add 2 cl of Cognac.  Then add ice and stir.  Add the rest of the Cognac the lemonade – then, finally add the cucumber peel.  Voila – you’ve just created your very own Summit cocktail.
(for the Summit mixers’ names, please see the note  at the bottom of this article)

Essential kit for mixing cocktails

As with any job, if you want to mix good cocktails then you need to have the right kit.

-  A lemon press is essential

-  A cocktail shaker

-  A bar spoon

-  Serving glasses;  And much as drinking Cognac in its unadulterated form is best done from a tulip glass or balloon snifter, then so is drinking a Cognac cocktail from the correct glass also vitally imp0rtant.  You’ll need a range of glasses dependant on the cocktails you make.  Sometimes you’ll need a highball, or a tumbler, long drink glass or even a champagne glass.

-  And the most important part is the Cognac itself.  Because you do NOT want to use excellent or expensive Cognac in cocktails.  Why?  Well, even the greatest of connoisseurs claim that when they drink Cognac in a cocktail, it’s impossible to tell whether it’s a VS or an XO – there are simply too many other tastes and aromas that influence the taste.

So there’s simply no point in using an expensive XO, when a reasonable VS or VSOP will do the job just as well.

So, that’s the Summit - let’s take a look at the other 29 cocktails in the list:

Alba

  • 3 cl Cognac
  • 2 cl orange juice
  • 1 cl raspberry juice
  • 1 slice of orange
  • Ice cubes

Cognac, orange juice and rasperry juice in the shaker, together with the ice cubes… and into a pre-cooled glass, orange slice on top, done.

Alexander Cocktail

Alexander Cocktail

Alexander

  • 4 cl Cognac
  • 3 cl Crème de Cacao
  • 3 cl cream
  • Cacao powder or muscat
  • ice cubes

Fill the shaker with ice, Cognac, crème and cream. Mix well, give into a tumbler glass and finish with some cacao or muscate powder.

Arago

  • 2 cl Cognac
  • 2 cl Crème de Banane
  • some crème fraîche
  • a bit of real syrup
  • some ice cubes

Putt the ice cubes into the shaker, then the other ingredients. Shake and pour it through a filter into the glass. Voila!

Banana Bliss

  • 2 cl Cognac
  • 2 cl Crème de Banane
  • two ice cubes
Banana Bliss

Banana Bliss

Put two ice cubes and the other ingredients into a mix glass. Stir and pour into a tumbler glass.

Between the sheets (That’s a classic)

  • 3 cl Cognac
  • 3 cl white Rum
  • 3 cl Cointreau
  • 3 cl lemon juice
  • 1 slice of lemon
  • crunched ice

Shake ingredients together with the crunched ice, decorate with the lemon slice.

Beverly Hills

  • 2cl Cognac
  • 4 cl Triple sec
  • 1 cl Kalhua (Coffee liqueur)
  • ice cubes

Give ingredients in shaker, mix well – pour into cocktail glass.

Bomber

  • 4 cl Cognac
  • 2 cl Vodka
  • 2 cl Cointreau
  • Ice cubes

Mix all ingredients and serve on ice.

Bora Bora Cocktail

Bora Bora Cocktail

Bora Bora

  • 2 cl Cognac
  • 2 cl Vodka
  • 2 cl Cherry brandy
  • 2 cl Picon (French aperitif)
  • four ice cubes

Mix all ingredients and serve in cocktail glass.

Brandy Daisy

  • 2 cl Cognac
  • lemon juice of half a lemon
  • a tiny bit of Grenadine
  • Sparkling water
  • ice cubes

Put ice cubes, cognac and lemon juice into the shaker. Add a tiny bit of Grenadine and shake well. Now, into the cocktail glass and add mineral water.

Baltimore Egg Nogg

  • 3 cl Cognac
  • 4,5 cl Madeira
  • 1,5 cl Jamaica Rum
  • real sugar syrup (two spoons)
  • 1 egg
  • 6 cl crème
  • 120 ml of milk
  • Muscat
  • ice cubes

Give all ingredients but milk and Muscat into shaker. Ice always first. Now mix well and pour into a collins glass. Add milk and at the end a bit of Muscat powder.

Café Brûlot for 8 persons

  • 0,25 liter of Cognac
  • the peel  of one orange
  • the peel of one lemon
  • 8 cloves
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 cinnamon stick
  • 2 lump sugar
  • half a liter hot coffee

Mix all ingredients but sugar and coffee in a fireproof bowl and start to heat it. Add a lump of sugar, let it melt and stir well. Add coffee.

Cafe Brulot Cocktail

You take the second lump sugar and drown it in Cognac, put it on a spoon and burn it. The burning piece of sugar gets dipped in the bowl. The surface starts to burn, serve it in mocha cups.

Champagne Cocktail

  • 1 lump sugar
  • a bit of Angostura
  • 2 cl Cognac
  • 8 cl Champagne
  • 1 slice of orange

A piece of sugar gets dipped in Angostura and place into champagne glass. Add Cognac, add Champagne. Decorate with the slice of orange – done.

Pick-Me-Up

Pick-Me-Up

Champagne Pick-me-up

  • 2 cl Cognac
  • 2 cl Orange juice
  • a bit of Grenadine
  • ice cubes
  • cooled Champagne

Give all ingredients but Champagne into shaker, mix it. Pour into Champagne glass, add Champagne, serve.

Cognac Horse’s Neck

  • Some lemon peel
  • 2 cl Cognac
  • Ginger Ale
  • ice cubes

Add ingredients, Ginger Ale comes last.

Corpse Reviver

Corpse Reviver

Corpse Reviver

I have a hangover what can I do about it? If you have a hangover, have this drink and you’ll be better. At least it’s what they say.

  • 3 cl Cognac
  • 3 cl Fernet Branca
  • 2 cl Crème de menthe blanche
  • four ice cubes

Mix all ingredients – serve in cocktail glass

Devil’s milk

  • 0.5 cl raspberry syrup
  • 2 cl Cognac
  • fresh milk
  • fresh raspberries
  • three ice vubes

Mix ice cubes with syrup and Cognac. Add milk and stir well. Decorate with raspberry.

French Sherbet

  • 1 cl Cognac
  • 1 cl cherry brandy
  • some real sugar syrup
  • a bit of Angostura
  • Champagne
  • Cherry ice crème

Mix all ingredients but Champagne and ice, pour into collins glass and stir. Now add Champagne and finally a good spoon of crème cerry ice. Wow…

French Green Dragon

  • 4,5 cl Cognac
  • 4,5 cl green Chartreuse
  • ice cubes

Shake all ingredients, serve in cocktail glass

Japanese Cocktail

  • 6 cl Cognac
  • some almond oil
  • a bit of Angostura
  • a bit of lemon peel
  • crunched ice

Give all ingredients into shaker and mix well, pout in cocktail glass and decorate with lemon peel

Mint-Julep Au Cognac

Mint-Julep Au Cognac

Mint-Julep Au Cognac

Coming from the South of the United States of America, this cocktail normally gets served with Bourbon. But of course you can also do it with Cognac.

  • 4 fresh mint branches
  • 6 cl Cognac
  • Soda
  • sugar
  • crunched ice
  • Powder sugar


take off the lint leaves from the branches, mix those with sugar, cognac and water in a bar glass. Stir until the sugar melts. Now add crushed ice and stir. Clean the branches, put it into the powder sugar and use it as decoration for the drink.

You may want to add a sense of Angostura or Rum.

Olympic

  • 2 cl Cognac
  • 2 cl fresh orange juice
  • 2 cl Curacao

Shake well, done.

Pousse Café

Pousse Café

Pousse Café

  • Grenadine
  • brown crème de cacao
  • Marschino
  • Orange Curacao
  • green crème de menthe
  • Parfait Amour (French liqueur)
  • Cognac

- or -

  • Grenadine
  • Yellow Chartreuse
  • Crème de Cassis
  • white Crème de Cacao
  • green Chartreuse
  • Cognac

Prince Charles

  • 6 cl Cognac
  • 4 cl Drambhuie
  • 4 cl lemon juice
  • three ice cubes

Ice cubes into shaker, mix all ingredients, pour into cocktail glass.

Rolls Royce

  • 3 cl Cognac
  • 3 cl Cointreau
  • 6 cl Orange juice
  • 1 white of an egg
  • ice cube

Mix all ingredients well.

Side Car

A classic! Apparently the drink became famous in Harry’s Bar in Paris.

  • 8 cl Cognac
  • 1 cl Cointreau
  • 2 cl lemon juice
  • lemon peel
  • crunched ice

All ingredients but peel get shaked. Decorate with lemon peel in the end.

Sour

Sour Cocktail

Sour Cocktail

  • 2 cl Cognac
  • 1 cl lime juice
  • a bit of real sugar syrup
  • 1 cherry

Give all ingredients into the shaker but the cerry, mix, serve – add the cherry for decoration.

Volga

Vodka based cocktail - 1 glass of tomato juice

  • 3 cl vodka
  • 1 cl cognac
  • freshly ground pepper
  • celery salt

Cognac-Fizz

Egg based cocktail (in shaker with crushed ice) :

  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 of an egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoonful sugar
  • 5 cl of cognac

Ice edge of glace with some sugar and decorate with a slice of lemon.

And here is the list of the Summit mixers, from all over the world:

France: Ugo Frabetti (Fouquet’s, Paris), Loïc Geslin (Régina, Paris), Hedi Mesme (Byblos, Saint-Tropez), Stephen Martin (Hilton, Arc de Triomphe, Paris), Aurélie Panhelleux (Hilton Arc de Triomphe, Paris)

USA: Jacques Bezuidenhout (San Fransisco), Dale DeGroff (Cofounder of Museum of the American Cocktail), Audrey Sanders (owner of Pegu Club, New York), David Wondrich (author) and Paul Pacult (journalist).

Germany: Uwe Christiansen (owner of 2 bars in Hamburg), Goncalo de Sousa Monteiro (Lion Bar, Hamburg), Stefan Gabanyi (Schumann’s Bar, Munich) and Markus Heinze (Sonderbar, Dreseden).

England: Salim Khury (Savoy Hotel, London), Paul Martin (Author), Charles Vexenat (Lonsdale, London) and SOmon Difford (author of the Difford Guide)

and last but not least: Stanislas Vadrna from the Redmonkeygroup, Bratislava

For cognac cocktail recipes, you should check out our new Cognac Drinks & Cocktails section. Every week a new cocktail!

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6 Responses

#1 Hendrik J on Mar 29, 2010, says:

Hi! Finally tried to mix that SUMMIT drink and I must say: it’s really good. Even my old dad had a try of it and liked it as well.

Just didn’t use the right ginger I guess.. too old or so. Great! will try more of those, I am not a pro, but go a cocktail set recently. hell, it’s fun.

#2 Karen Marie Otter on Jun 12, 2010, says:

My favorite Cognac cocktail is called Head Crack. This is the recipe…

Ingredients:
3 oz Hennessy Cognac
2 oz Kahlua
milk to fill

Instructions:
Mix Hennessy and Kahlua over ice in a Hurricane glass, fill with milk. Stir and serve.

#3 lis on Dec 31, 2010, says:

tastey looking new drinks i need to try!!lol

#4 hp on Feb 15, 2012, says:

receipt #2 is slightly arrogant or the author is just showing off. Madam, Hennessy is a self-sufficient Cognac.It s not rational dissolve it with milk and ruin with ice.
I must be late with comments,the Lady probably has already tried to mix Moet with apricot juice or drink Grand Marnier with whipped cream

#5 Jbone on Jun 5, 2012, says:

Whoa there #4, there’s enough Hennessy on planet earth to spare. Also, champagne and basically any fruit juice, syrup, or cognac is pretty classic. Grand Marnier’s for hot chocolate, man. I scandalize you thusly: sidecar from VSOP, Cointreau, and a really ripe lemon with thick skin and almost sweet pulp.

#6 Jason on Jun 4, 2013, says:

If you think Hennessey is good cognac and Moet is good Champagne, you are mistaken. Most of the serious growers in either region wouldn’t wash their cars with that muck.

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