[Updated 03 June 2020]
Thursday 04 July 2020. Highlight the date in your diary and add an annual repeating alert, because—drum roll please—It’s National Cognac Day.
Now, we’re not quite at the stage where the government has deemed this hallowed day a national holiday—but, hey, we can live in hope… However, it’s certainly a great excuse to celebrate our favorite drink, not to mention exploring our hobby with the purchase of a new bottle or two.
The Cognac day celebration has been a “thing” since the first one occurred on Sunday 04 June 2000. Since then each year has seen the US show appreciation for what is arguably one of France’s most iconic exports.
Long may the tradition continue, that’s what we say.
Why does National Cognac Day exist?
Well, despite our intense digging, we can’t find a reason as to exactly why the day came into being. It could be simply a marketing ploy. Or perhaps some dedicated aficionado decided it was time that eau-de-vie had its own special 24 hours of glory. After all, truffles have their own special day (May 02), as do pumpkin seeds (the first Wednesday in October), and Prosecco (August 13).
So why not Cognac?
But have you ever wondered exactly how a day gets proclaimed as a “National Day”? Well, this is something that we can shed some light on—just in case it’s one of those thoughts that ricochets around your head when you can’t sleep at night.
Chase’s Calendar of Events is the unofficial guardian of the national days in the USA. This ever-lengthening book of words was started in 1957 by two brothers, Bill and Harrison Chase. These guys decided that there was a need for a single reference source for such dates. It was originally designed to include holidays, special events, historic anniversaries, and state events.
The first book published was 32 pages in length and contained 364 entries. Today it contains over 12,500 entries and is made up of 752 pages.
For something to be allocated its own official day someone needs to submit to Chase’s diary. But in the case of National Cognac Day we’ve not, as yet, been able to unearth who carried out the actual deed.
But hoorah to whoever was responsible. We salute you, Sir (or Madame).
Another reference for such days of celebration is the National Holiday Calendar, which also lists the annually occurring dates.
Cognac Day Celebration videos
Of course, some of the world’s best-loved Cognac houses have embraced National Cognac Day. From You Tube videos to promotional events, brands from the gargantuan Hennessy to the smallest of craft brands are getting in on the act.
Check out “How We Hennessy” an example of how the Cognac giant marked the day in 2018.
In fact, wherever you look people are celebrating the revered Day of Cognac in their own way. Check out this guy’s video as he extols the virtues of Courvoisier’s Napoleon.
And here’s a group of clubbers sharing their love of D’Usse Cognac — the absolute epitome of the relationship between hip hop and “brown”. (N.B. Explicit lyrics and bikini-clad girls shaking their booty…!)
Cognac Expert’s recommendations for sipping on this unique day
OK, so of course you can nip out to the local liquor store and pick up a bottle of oh-so-normal Cognac. But being as we know our wonderful global fan base have rather more discerning tastes, we’ve put together a list of five of what we think are some of the best Cognacs for Cognac Day.
And as we’ve sure you’ve come to expect, they come courtesy of our own personal taste tests, and combine a pure, unadulterated taste-fest that offers incredible bang for your buck.
This award winning XO from Braastad is a spicy little number presents an artful taste-fest where fruit and floral meets something a little punchier. And boy, does it make for a delightful taste sensation. Boasting at least 50% Grande Champagne eau-de-vie, each element is aged for around 15-20 years before it reaches the necessary maturity to make it into the blend.
Discover more about the Braastad XO Fine Champagne
2. Francois Peyrot XO Cognac
Another XO well worth your attention, this offering from Francois Peyrot has been decorated with multiple industry awards – and it’s well worthy of every single one of them. Produced from the house’s own Grande Champagne vineyards, it’s also one for the ecologically-minded out there. Every aspect of production is chemical-free, leading to a purity in flavour that needs to be tasted to be believed.
Discover more and purchase the Francois Peyrot XO Cognac
3. Paul Giraud Très Rare Cognac
Beautifully presented in it’s own wooden case, the Paul Giraud Très Rare is the epitome of artisan quality. It’s an hors d’age offering – boasting four decades in the making – and, we have to say, it was certainly worth waiting for. Grande Champagne, spicy, with notes of leather and tobacco, this is a Cognac to be savored (it also pairs well with a cigar, if that’s your thing).
Dive into the delight that is the Paul Giraud Très Rare.
4. Hennessy XXO
If you’ve not yet sipped the delight that is the new age category of XXO, then what better time to imbibe than on National Cognac Day? The first producer to bring such a Cognac to market (and indeed pivotal in the birth of a whole new category) was Hennessy, so it’s only right that you start your journey with their new innovation. Stunning to look at and even better to taste, the Hennessy XXO showcases exactly why Master Blender Yann Fillioux is such a leading talent in the world of Cognac.
Discover the wonder of Hennessy XXO Cognac
5. Park XO Cognac
Another XO that’s won more awards than we can mention, the Park XO will appeal to those who love exploration and the discovery of unique flavors. It’s a robust Cognac—yet manages to combine this with the right amount of finesse to bring an extraordinary taste experience.
Find out more about the Park XO Cognac
So there you have it. Our list of the Top 5 Cognacs to drink on National Cognac Day. We’d love to see your images of what you’re drinking on this special day. Leave a comment below, post on our Facebook page, or hit us up on Twitter or Instagram.
Whether you drink yours neat, on the rocks, icy cold from the freezer, in a cocktail, or mixed with bubbles, have a great National Cognac Day. We’ll be thinking of you. Cheers…