While Cognac cocktails are uber-fashionable today, the penchant for enjoying a mixed creation isn’t limited to the here and now. In fact, the idea has been enjoyed for many centuries. So, join us on an in-depth journey into the world of the humble Cognac cocktail.

The SUmara Cognac Cocktail

Not only will we introduce you to simple do-it-yourself concoctions and a little cocktail history, but we’ll also take a look at some incredible mixologist concoctions that will truly make your eyes water (and we’re not just talking about the taste).

Cognac Cocktails: a definitive guide

No-one can deny that how we enjoy Cognac has changed almost beyond recognition over the past couple of decades. In contrast to the old-school habit of a neat, hand-warmed, digestif, the use of Cognac in mixed drinks and cocktails is now commonplace in virtually every country.

If more proof is needed, then the Cognac houses themselves have proven the longevity behind the trend. Many have introduced lines specifically for cocktails and mixed drinks. Cognac Planat only being one of them to have a dedicated bartender range. Our beloved drink has truly embraced the 21st century.

What is a cocktail?

We probably all have a pretty good idea as to what a cocktail is. However, the lines of strict definitions are constantly blurring. You’ve likely heard of (or enjoyed) mocktails, which are designed for the teetotaler, designated driver, or for days when you just don’t want alcohol.

However, as this article is dedicated to Cognac cocktails, we’re going to concentrate on the true dictionary definition of what a cocktail is. And that is,

“A mixed alcoholic drink—usually iced—that’s a combination of 2 or more ingredients.”

Cognac Cocktail mixology

Of course, there are often way more than 2 ingredients in a cocktail. There’s usually a fruity element, sometimes more than one alcoholic shot, and usually the addition of other ingredients to enhance the taste.

Cognac has been used in mixed cocktail drinks for centuries. While the professional term today for creating cocktails is “mixology”, back in the 1800s when the fashion for mixed drinks really became popular, the word cocktail itself was considered truly avant-garde.

The Rise in Popularity of the Cognac cocktail

In more recent times, it was probably in the USA that adding Cognac to cocktails first became truly popular. The trend was soon followed by nations across the globe. Look at the beautiful people of China sipping their Cognac cocktails in the hottest nightclubs and bars, and you instantly appreciate how true this is.

A complete history of Cognac cocktails

While Americans are responsible for honing the art of cocktails, the real story begins much earlier and on the other side of the pond. In the UK, the British loved to concoct a punch—a party drink that consisted of a large bowl of spirits, mixed with fruit juices, spices, and other flavors. It was incredibly popular during the 17th century amongst sailors when they ran out of beer and wine. They invented the drink to dilute overpowering spirits and make them more palatable.

Rum was the staple alcoholic ingredient of punch during that time. Cognac was increasingly difficult to acquire in England due to the constant wars against France and Spain. It didn’t take long before this sailor’s concoction spilled over into wider society—and the concept of a mixed drink with an alcohol base was born. 

The US enters the race

The early 1800s saw the popularity of the cocktail begin to take off. The word “cocktail” first appeared on May 13, 1806, in Balance and Columbian Repository, a weekly magazine published in Hudson, New York.

The first famous Cognac cocktail was born courtesy of an apothecary from New Orleans—Antoine Amadie Peychaud. Christened The Sazerac, it remains a firm favorite to this day.

The Sazerac

Different cocktails begin appearing and by the 1900s the cocktail party was in full swing across America.  New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New Orleans became cocktail hotspots. By this point, the drinks had evolved, becoming more complex, with the likes of the Cognac-based Stinger and Coffee Cocktail being examples of drinks being sipped by society’s elite.

Coffee Cocktail

Other popular Cognac cocktail inventions included the Brandy Crusta and the Sidecar.

Fast forward to today

Any Amazon search will return a plethora of books showing you how to make cocktails—with increasingly more complex (and dare we say, bizarre) options. However, it’s interesting to note that The Sazerac, Brandy Crusta, and Sidecar all remain on the list of the 50 most popular cocktails in the world*. These three classic cocktails are trumped, however, by The Corpse Reviver, which came in as the 16th most popular cocktail in the world.

FYI, number 1 on the list is the Negroni, which has recently usurped the long-standing best-seller, the Old Fashioned.

All About Cognac Cocktails - including 30 recipes

Discover more about the history of Cognac cocktails in our in-depth article.

* Source: a survey by Drinks International of the 100 best bars in the world and their best-selling cocktails

We Love: drinking Cognac in cocktails

One of the best things about Cognac cocktails is that recipes continually evolve. From the classics to recipes created by houses such as Hine or Hennessy’s legendary cellar master Yann Fillioux, there’s a taste profile to suit every palate.

You can even splash out any Vegas winnings on one of the world’s most expensive cocktails at the Wynn XS Nightclub. Their Louis XIII Black Pearl retails for a cool $10,000, should you win big on the tables.

Discover more about the delights of drinking Cognac in cocktails.

Schmoozing and Smoothies

Before we delve deeper into the subject of which Cognacs are best for cocktails, let’s consider some of the higher end ones that add that luxury touch. A deliciously smooth Cognac can elevate a regular mixed drink into something really special.

Examples include the versatile D’Usse XO and the Deau XO. Such smooth blends provide the perfect Cognac for whatever drink suits your mood: neat for that post-meal drink, on the rocks as an aperitif, or shaken and stirred into the perfect mixed concoction.

Check out more examples in The Ultimate List of Smooth Cognacs.

The Best Cognacs for Cocktails

The most important point here is this: there is no “right” or “wrong” Cognac to use in a cocktail. You might hear some say that you should only use a VS, or that an XO is too special to adulterate with other ingredients.

We have one thing to say to this—and it’s something we’ve championed for many, many years: 

There are no rules about how to drink Cognac

The only requirement is that you enjoy it. VS, VSOP, and XO’s all lend themselves to mixed drinks. The fiery youth of a VS works well in cocktails with strong-tasting ingredients. A VSOP is a wonderful middle-of-the-road choice, and an XO? Well, the aged undertones and even rancio can combine with other flavors for a sublime taste sensation.

Discover more about the different age categories of VS, VSOP, and XO Cognac.

8 Great Drinks to Mix with Cognac

Cognac is the perfect spirit with which to experiment. From the simple addition of a block of ice through to the complexity of a multi-ingredient cocktail, there’s many common and not-so-common additions that make for a wonderful taste experience.

Some examples include:

  • Ginger ale: The spicy taste of ginger marries delightfully with Cognac. Use a highball glass, a shot of your favorite Cognac, and a generous portion of ginger ale. We particularly like it with Fever Tree Ginger Ale or, for an exotic twist, use the Fever Tree Spiced Orange Ginger Ale, which marries sweet clementine and cinnamon. 
Cognac and Ginger Ale
  • Coca Cola: The time-enduring taste of Coke combined with a powerful eau-de-vie creates a flavor infusion that millions enjoy. For us, we mix our chosen Cognac with a splash of the fizzy stuff, ice, and a slice of lemon.
Cognac and Coca Cola
  • Iced tea: It might not sound the most obvious choice, but Cognac and iced tea is an incredible twist on a drink that’s a favorite with millions around the world. Mix 1.5 oz of VS or VSOP Hennessy Cognac with 0.5 oz of Grand Marnier, 2 oz of unsweetened cold tea, 1 oz of simple syrup, and 0.5 oz of fresh lemon juice. Shake it up with some ice in a cocktail shaker, garnish with a twist of orange, and voila—your drink is ready.
Cognac and Iced Tea
  • A Cognac infusion: We can highly recommend a heady infusion of Cognac with the aromatic beauty of vanilla or jasmine. It might sound a little complicated, but it’s actually surprisingly simple. Simply infuse the flavor of either plant into hot water, add the Cognac, and settle back to enjoy a rather special hot toddy.
Cognac infused with Jasmine
  • Tonic: Never underestimate the humble tonic as a Cognac mixer. It pairs perfectly and brings out the delicious fruity tones. Fever Tree produces a range to experiment with. From Premium Indian to Light Mediterranean, Refreshingly Aromatic to Elderflower, each adds a unique twist. Try them all and let us know your favorite.

  • Ice: Ice is a very underrated addition to mix with Cognac. A couple of rocks dilutes the Cognac in the glass, reducing the percentage of alcohol. In turn, this reveals subtle differences in the aroma and taste. Expect to discover further fruits and spices, as well as a walk on the floral side.
Cognac on ice
  • Water/soda: Whisky drinkers will be very familiar with adding a drop of water to their liquor. But it’s not so widely done with Cognac. This is a real shame because it’s a great mixer. Don’t overdo it—just a few drops will stir up the flavors and aromas, subtly revealing another side to the Cognac you’re tasting.

  • Cognac in a cocktail: Without a doubt, the Cognac cocktail has taken the world by storm. Mixologists the world over fight to create the very best Cognac-based creations and bring their expertise to the finest bars. And it’s easy! A few simple tools, a carefully selected range of ingredients, and—naturally—some great Cognacs, and you’re perfectly prepared to cast your individual flair to the art of the cocktail.

Sophie’s Meukow Cocktails from California

Our very own Sophie is a bit of a whizz when it comes to making Cognac cocktails. Nothing showcases this better than her mixology efforts in Sunny California—at a party in Palm Springs.

Cocktail mixing with Meukow Cognac

She chose to use some great Meukow Cognacs and liqueurs. And the results? Well, it was a wonderful success. The Cognac Caipirinha and the Bright and Stormy were the standout stars of the show. 

Cognac Caipirinha

Sophie drinking a Cognac Caipirinha
Sophie knows how to mix great cocktails – her favorite recipe: Cognac Caipirinha

Preparation: Put all the lime slices in a tumbler glass. Add the sugar. Then take a wooden mortar and juice the limes straight in the glass. This will take a few minutes. The juice of the limes will absorb the sugar, creating a nice and creamy syrup. Add crushed ice till the glass is full. Pour the Cognac over at the end and stir with a spoon. Serve!

Bright and Stormy

All About Cognac Cocktails - including 30 recipes

Preparation: Pour 2 shots of Cognac in a tall cocktail glass. Add a couple of ice cubes. Then fill up the glass with ginger beer. Add a twig of fresh mint and enjoy.

Recreate at home by purchasing a couple of bottles from Meukow’s great selection.

From Our Cognac Expert Community

There’s no better recommendations than real life examples. When we posed the question of favorite Cognac Cocktails to our lively Cognac Lovers Facebook group, we had a great response.

John Go said:

Made a Cognac “Negroni” once. But I swapped out the sweet vermouth with red Pineau de Charentes. Uniquely tasty.

Svein Magne Rosså loves the: Martell Summit and Cognac Mojito.

Jules Dee Klis gave us photographic evidence:

Had this delicious blueberry French75 with Cognac at Manhattan (NYC). Delicious!

Jules Dee Klis' cognac cocktail

And so did Ben Davis:

The Japanese is the best Cognac cocktail.

Ben Davis Cognac Cocktail
  • 1 part lime
  • 1 part orgeat
  • Dash of bitters
  • 4 parts Cognac
Ben Davis Cognac Cocktail with Remy Martin Cognac

And the MGM Grand is also worth a try. I made it with my own demerara syrup, and it was delicious.

Jesse L. Cyr showed off her cocktail-making skills:

Jesse L Cyr's Mint Jupilep Cognac Cocktail

Mint Julep! Originally made with Cognac instead of whiskey. Also, absolutely delicious with a little float of Jamaican rum.  

Maciek Pruski agrees:

I regularly drink the Mint Julep and Sidecar cocktails, both delicious. The Sidecar is a bit like a Cognac Margarita, but Mint Julep is great because it really highlights the Cognac.

Todd Bailey has a penchant for: 

A French Connection

  • 2oz Cognac
  • 1oz Grand Marnier

If you need to tamp it down, add ginger ale or sprite.

Christoph Richter has 2 go-to choices:

Cognac & Tonic or Negroni made with Pineau des Charentes instead of Vermouth.

And Theoplies D. Barkum loves this fresh, crisp, and well-balanced classic:

The Remy Sidecar. Complex and extremely well-balanced, the Sidecar is deemed to have been created in 1921, with the Ritz Paris later making a deluxe version in 1923. This is an iconic Cognac cocktail with an enchanting story. It is said to have been named after a motorcycle sidecar owned by a gentleman in Paris, it was then later popularized in London—truly a tale of two cities.

Theoplies Brakum Cognac Cocktail ingredients

Rémy Martin Sidecar.

  • 2 oz Rémy Martin 1738 Accord Royal
  • ¾ oz Cointreau
  • ¾ oz lemon juice

Jukka Järvelä had this take on the Sidecar:

  • I part Cointreau or Triple Sec
  • 2 parts Lemon Juice
  • 8 parts Cognac or Armagnac
Jukka Jarvela's Cognac Cocktail

Shake vigorously with plenty of cracked or crushed ice and strain into chilled cocktail glasses. A twist of lemon may be used if desired and the peel dropped into the glass. Otherwise, no decoration.

Source: The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks – David A. Embury, 1948.

P.S. Great drink already as original. I never thought it could be made with Armagnac as well.

He also said:

I’m a man with simple habits and this is my choice of drink with Cognac. It’s called Lumumba, as far as I can recall, perhaps from the 60s. 

A little decent VS or VSOP Cognac, some ice, and chocolate milk. That’s it, very simple and delicious drink in summer. During winter you can also make it hot. 

When money’s no object

Got some cash going spare? Take a look at these eye-wateringly priced Cognac cocktails that need deep pockets if you plan on trying them.

The Ono

We’ve already touched on this Las Vegas offering that’ll set you back a cool ten thousand bucks. Admittedly, it does serve 2 people, but that still boils down to £5K a pop, so you’ve got to be serious about your mixed drinks to order one.

So, what’s in this crazily priced tipple? And what makes it command such a hefty price tag?

Well, it’s reputed to be inspired by the Polynesian god, Ono, who brought a black pearl along to give to the princess of Bora Bora. When you order The Ono, not only do you get half an ounce of Remy Martin Louis XIII Black Pearl Cognac in each of the cocktails, but you also get a complete bottle of Charles Heidsieck 1981 Champagne, with around four ounces of the bubbly in each cocktail (the rest is yours to sip at your leisure).

All About Cognac Cocktails - including 30 recipes

Other ingredients include Bulgarian Sence Rose Nectar (a rose syrup), freshly squeezed orange juice, and some apricot puree. But the drink experience doesn’t stop there, oh no. Around 20 staff members form a procession to your table where they proceed to mix the cocktail in front of you. 

The drinks are presented in two gold-rimmed Baccarat champagne flutes, and if that wasn’t enough, the guys get a pair of sterling silver Mont Blanc cufflinks. For the ladies (who we think definitely get the better deal), the cocktail comes complete with a 19-carat gold necklace with a black pearl and diamond.

Unsurprisingly, the blend has proved a winner with those who’ve had a run of luck at the tables. Around 25 were sold in the first five years after the cocktail was introduced in 2009.

Other crazy priced cocktails include Salvatore’s Legacy, a delight that retailed at a cool £5,500 sterling and contained a shot of 1778 Clos de Griffier Vieux Cognac, and The Winston, which boasts two shots of Croizet 1858 Leonie Cognac. The latter weighs in at an eye watering $12,970, and was created by Australian bartender, Joel Hefferman.

In addition to the Croizet Cognac, the creation included Grand Marnier Quintessence, Chartreuse Vieillissement Exceptionnellement Prolonge—and that staple added extra of many a cocktail, Angostura bitters.

As if that wasn’t enough, Heffernan misted his creation with dry ice infused with lemon and orange peel, star anise, and angelica. It was served on a bed of chocolate and nutmeg soufflé and garnished with handmade spun sugar and Chartreuse grapevines. This was a work of art on its own, created by chefs from Mr Hive Kitchen and Bar, Mario Wischnewski, Dalamaine Blignaut, and John Lawson.

That’s one helluva creation, whatever way you look at it.

Bringing things slightly back down to earth, we love this anecdote from Jesse L. Cyr, a mixologist who’s wonderfully active on our Facebook group.

A gentleman came into the bar and wanted to talk Cognac. He asked me to mix an Old Fashioned with something really nice and high end. Though personally, I never mix with really expensive things at home, I’m all about trying new things in my bar, especially when I get the go-ahead from a guest. I presented him with a few different bottles, and he chose the Navarre Vieille Réserve.

Navarre Vieille Reserve Cognac

I made the drink and gave it a quick straw taste to check for dilution—and fell in love. It’s already an amazing Cognac on its own, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that it would make a killer Old Fashioned. It ended up costing close to $100 a cocktail…”

30 Great Cocktails to Try at Home

If you’re ready to try your hand at home mixology, we first suggest investing in a few key pieces of equipment:

  • A lemon press is essential
  • A cocktail shaker
  • A bar spoon
All About Cognac Cocktails - including 30 recipes

Serving glasses: While drinking Cognac in its unadulterated form is best done from a tulip glass or balloon snifter, you also need to choose the most appropriate one for a cocktail. This means you’ll need a range—a highball, a tumbler, a long drink glass, a Champagne coupe, and a Champagne flute.

The following details the names of our Top 30 Cognac cocktails.

Summit

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.

Here’s how to make it:

  • 4 slices of ginger
  • 1 lime slice
  • 4 cl VSOP Cognac
  • 6 cl lemonade
  • A fine peel of cucumber
All About Cognac Cocktails - including 30 recipes
Copyright: © BNIC / Konoisseur

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 tumbler glass, and add 2 cl of Cognac. Then add ice and stir. Add the rest of the Cognac and lemonade – finally, add the cucumber peel. Voila – you’ve just created your very own Summit cocktail.

Sidecar

The classic cocktail from Harry’s Bar in Paris.

  • 8 cl Cognac
  • 1 cl Cointreau
  • 2 cl lemon juice
  • Lemon peel
  • Crushed ice

Place all the ingredients except the lemon peel into a cocktail shaker, and shake! Pour into a glass and decorate with the lemon peel, and a sugared rim is also optional.

Stinger

This powerful but fresh cocktail is perfect as an aperitif. All you’ll need for it is the following: 

  • 4 cl Cognac 
  • 2 cl white Creme de Menthe

Shake both ingredients in a Boston shaker over ice cubes and strain into a pre-chilled martini bowl, or cocktail glass. Garnish with a mint leaf and serve.

French Connection  

Back in the 1970s, this cocktail was prepared in a 1:1 ratio. Today, the modern connoisseur tends to drink it drier. This means that the ratio of Amaretto to Cognac is 1:2.

Stir both ingredients together over ice. Strain then into a tumbler with fresh ice. No garnish is needed. Drink and enjoy.

Between the Sheets

Over 80 percent of the drink consists of spirits, including the meltwater – anyone who sips here knows very well where the journey is headed.

  • 3 cl Cognac
  • 3 cl White Rum
  • 3 cl Cointreau
  • 3 cl lemon juice
  • 1 slice of lemon
  • Crushed ice
Between the sheets Cognac Cocktail

Combine ingredients together in a shaker with crushed ice, pour into a cocktail glass, and decorate with the lemon slice.

Cognac Margarita

It’s a classic margarita with the addition of Cognac. Invented with just 3 ingredients it’s one of the most popular cocktails ever invented.

  • 1 ½ ounces* tequila reposado
  • 1 ounce Hennessy Cognac
  • 1 ounce Cointreau (or Triple Sec)
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • For the garnish: lime wedges

Cut lime in wedges, then run the lime around the rim of a glass. Dip the edge of the rim into a plate of salt. Place the tequila, Cognac of your choice, Cointreau, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker with 1 handful of ice cubes and shake until cold. Strain the margarita into the glass with the salted rim. Fill the glass with ice and serve.

Sazerac

The Sazerac has a long history. Born courtesy of an apothecary it remains a firm favorite to this day.

  • 6 cl Cognac
  • 1 sugar cube (alternatively 1 bar spoon of sugar syrup)
  • 0,25 cl Absinthe
  • 3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters

Place sugar cubes or sugar syrup in an Old Fashioned glass. Drizzle a few drops of bitters into glass and crush sugar cubes with a bar spoon. Add ice cubes and Cognac. Stir the concoction for about 45 seconds. Wet the inside of a second, pre-chilled Old Fashioned glass with a few drops of absinthe. Strain the drink into glass without ice. Spritz with lemon zest and add as desired. Drink.

Vieux Carre

Hotel Monteleone, where the cocktail was created, in New Orleans, is to this day one of the most famous addresses in the city. It is located in the Vieux Carré neighborhood and that’s why it got its name. 

  • 3 cl Rye Whiskey
  • 3 cl Cognac
  • 3 cl Sweet vermouth
  • 0,5 cl Bénédictine
  • 2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Stir all ingredients together over ice. Strain into a tumbler with fresh ice. Spritz with lemon zest. Enjoy.

Cognac Old Fashioned

A very simple cocktail but even professional bartenders argue about how to properly prepare the forefather of all cocktails. Do you garnish it with an orange slice or a cherry? That’s up to you.

  • 6 cl Cognac 
  • 0,5 cl sugar syrup
  • 3 dashes of Angostura Bitters
  • Orange zest or Cherry to garnish
Old fashioned Cognac cocktail

Fill a mixing glass with ice. Pour in the Cognac, syrup, and Angostura Bitters. Stir for about 1 minute. Strain into a tumbler with fresh ice. Spritz with orange zest and garnish either with the orange zest or a cherry.

Milk Punch 

A rather unknown cocktail but definitely worth trying it. 

  • 45 cl black tea
  • 15 cl arrack
  • 15 cl Cognac
  • 80 g sugar
  • 7,5 cl lemon juice
  • 23 cl whole milk

Mix all the ingredients except the milk, stirring the sugar into the tea while it is still hot. Then slowly pour the punch into the milk, stirring carefully. Let it stand for about half an hour. Bottle, refrigerate, look forward to later.

The Japanese 

Even if The Japanese has little to do with Japan in the end, it is still one of the few drinks from the bartender bible How to Mix Drinks by Jerry Thomas, which the forefather of classic mixology invented himself.

  • 6 cl cognac
  • 1 bar spoon Orgeat
  • 2 dashes Boker’s Bitters

Stir everything together over ice and strain into a pre-chilled coupette. Spritz with lemon zest. Drink.

French 75 

Named after a French World War I howitzer known for its tremendous penetrating power. Here is how what you need and prepare him:

  • 3 cl gin
  • 1,5 cl lemon juice
  • 0,75 cl sugar syrup
  • 10 cl sparkling wine

Shake all ingredients except sparkling wine on ice and strain into a champagne glass. Top with sparkling wine and garnish with lemon zest. Finished.

Manhattan 

There are several variants of the Manhattan. Of course, we were particularly taken with the one with cognac. 

  • 2 oz Cognac
  • 1 oz sweet red vermouth
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Cherry and lemon peel to garnish

Combine the Cognac, vermouth, and bitters in a cocktail mixing glass. Fill the mixing glass with 1 handful of ice and stir continuously for about half a minute. Strain into a coupe or cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry and serve.

The Jimmie Roosevelt 

Invented by Charles H. Baker Jr. in 1939 it is made of: 

  • 1 sugar cube
  • 8 dash Angostura Aromatic Bitters
  • 4.5 cl Cognac 
  • 0.75 cl sugar syrup
  • 7.5 cl sparkling wine
  • 0.5 cl green Chartreuse liqueur 

Soak the sugar cube with the Angustura bitter. Pour Cognac, sugar syrup, and sparking wine over the soaked cube. Fill the glass with ice and drop some green Chartreuse in.

Mata Hari 

It’s floral, herbal, and tart, hitting all the right notes. The touch of vermouth takes the drink in a unique direction. 

  • 1 1/4 ounces cognac
  • 1 ounce chai-infused sweet vermouth*
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 3/4 oz pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • Garnish: dried organic rosebuds
Cognac concoction

Add the Cognac, chai-infused sweet vermouth, lemon juice, pomegranate juice, and simple syrup into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with three dried rosebuds. 

Strawberry Cognac Iced Tea 

This is a summery drink. Strawberries pair excellently with Cognac, you could substitute a fruit like raspberries or even blueberries, depending on what’s freshest and most available. Or shift gears and use a flavored tea—a peach black tea or similar flavor can bring even more fruity summery notes.

  • 2 large fresh strawberries (sliced into quarters)
  • 1 oz lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 2 oz Cognac
  • 3/4 oz rich simple syrup
  • Unsweetened iced tea, to top
  • Garnish: blueberries
  • Garnish: strawberries
  • Garnish: mint sprig

Add the strawberries or your fruit of choice and lemon juice into a shaker and muddle. Add the Cognac and simple syrup, add ice and shake until well-chilled. Strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice. Top with unsweetened iced tea. Garnish with skewered blueberries and strawberries and a mint sprig. 

The Beautiful 

Easy to make, easy to enjoy. 

  • 1 1/2 oz Cognac
  • 1 1/2 oz Grand Marnier

Get both ingredients and pour the French brandy and Grand Marnier into the glass. Serve and enjoy.

Cafe Amore Cocktail

It’s simple but still beautiful. The combination of Cognac and amaretto creates a warm and inviting flavor that you’ll fall in love with. 

  • 1 oz Cognac 
  • 1 or Amaretto 
  • 6 oz black coffee
  • whipped cream
  • shaved almonds to garnish 
Alexander Cognac Cocktail
Copyright: © BNIC / Konoisseur

Pour the Cognac and amaretto into a tall coffee glass. Fill with hot coffee. Top with whipped cream and garnish with almonds. Serve while still hot. 

Vin Chaud 

Perfect in winter for a party or around Christmas dinner.

  • 2 x 750-ml bottles of red wine
  • 0.5 Cup Cognac
  • 250 g brown sugar
  • lemon zest
  • orange zest
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 2 Star anise
  • 1-inch spices
  • 3 pinches nutmeg
  • 1 orange

Mix all ingredients together and cook everything on low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Strain and serve hot. Garnish with a slice of Orange. 

Almond Crusta

Awesome go-to cocktail for everyone. 

  • 30ml Cognac
  • 150ml Junípero gin
  • 25ml lemon juice
  • 5ml orgeat
  • 1 dash of Angostura bitters
  • Superfine sugar
  • Lemon peel

Pour all liquid ingredients into a shaker, add ice and shake. Double strain into a glass.

Bermuda Highball

  • Ice Cubes
  • ½ Part Cognac
  • ⅓ Part Dry Vermouth
  • ½ Part Gin
  • Ginger Ale
  • Lemon

Fill a highball glass with ice cubes. Add cognac, dry vermouth, and gin. Top up with ginger ale. Garnish with lemon.

Bamboo #2

  • 1 1/2 oz dry sherry
  • 1 1/2 oz dry vermouth
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 dash of orange bitters
  • Garnish: lemon twist

Add the dry sherry, dry vermouth, Angostura bitters, and orange bitters into a mixing glass with cracked ice, and stir until well-chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe, and garnish with a lemon twist.

Fleur de Lees 

We particularly love this one as it includes not only Cognac but the other specialty of the region, Pineau des Charentes.

  • 4cl of Cognac
  • 0.75 cl of Suze (a bitter French aperitif)
  • 0.75 cl of Pineau des Charentes
  • Grapefruit twist
Fleur de Lees Cognac Cocktail

Combine all ingredients in a shaker together with ice and shake well until chilled. Strain into a Nick & Nora cocktail glass and garnish with the grapefruit twist.

Springtime in Cognac 

  • 1.5 oz. Frapin 1270
  • 0.5 oz. lemon juice
  • 0.5 oz honey syrup (equal parts honey & water)
  • 1 large strawberry
  • Sparkling rosé

Muddle strawberry and add Cognac, lemon, and honey syrup into a shaker tin with ice. Shake and strain into a coupe or fleet. Top with sparkling rose and garnish with a strawberry.

Mr. Tallymon 

  • Muddled pear
  • 2 oz Cognac
  • 0.5 oz lemon juice
  • 1 bar spoon simple syrup

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass and fill with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with house-made caramelized banana.

French Negroni

  • 1⅓ oz Cognac
  • 2/3 oz Campari
  • 2/3 oz red vermouth
  • Orange twist

Pour Cognac in a glass. Add 2/3 oz of Campari liqueur and 2/3 oz of red vermouth. Stir. Fill the glass with ice and stir for several seconds to chill. Garnish with an orange twist.

Corpse Reviver No.1

As the name suggests, this is a great cure if you’ve overindulged the previous evening! At least, that’s what we’ve heard…

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

Mix all the ingredients together – and serve in a cocktail glass.

Mint-Julep Au Cognac

Coming from the US Southern states, this cocktail normally gets served with Bourbon. But for a great twist, try it with Cognac instead.

  • 4 fresh mint branches
  • 6 cl Cognac
  • Soda
  • Sugar
  • Crushed ice
  • Powdered sugar
Mint Julep Cognac Cocktail
Copyright: © BNIC / Konoisseur

Remove the mint leaves from the branches and mix them with the sugar, Cognac, and water in a bar glass. Stir until the sugar melts. Add the crushed ice and stir again. Clean the mint branches, dampen, and roll in the powdered sugar. Use these as garnish.

You may want to add a splash of Angostura or Rum for a cheeky power blast!

Cognac sour

  • 2 oz -Cognac
  • 1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ oz sugar syrup
  • lemon wedges
  • rosemary sprig

Make sugar syrup. Measure all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Add 5-6 ice cubes. Shake vigorously and strain into a short glass. Add 1-2 ice cubes to the glass and garnish with a lemon wedge and a rosemary sprig.

Incredible Hulk 

Such an outstanding Cocktail, in taste as well as for the eye a real feast.

  • 6 cl Hypnotic 
  • 6 cl Cognac

This luminous green cocktail, inspired by the comic book hero the Hulk, was created as a fruity cocktail that would appeal to men. Simply use equal parts Hpnotiq and Hennessy, stir together well, and pour over ice into a low ball glass.

6 Cognacs we Love to Use for Mixing

While you can, of course, choose any Cognac to pair with a mixer or enjoy in a Cocktail, the following are some of our very favorites.

Gilbert VS

All About Cognac Cocktails - including 30 recipes

 Award-winning Cognac with superb citrus notes that lends itself perfectly to a cocktail mix. Discover the Gilbert VS.

Chainier VSOP

All About Cognac Cocktails - including 30 recipes

Exploding with fruit, this robust Cognac adds delicious depth to any mixed drink. Find out more about the Chainier VSOP

Bache Gabrielsen VSOP Triple Cask

All About Cognac Cocktails - including 30 recipes

Another multi-medal winner that’s bursting with fruit flavors. Buy the Bache Gabrielsen VSOP Triple Cask.

Conte et Filles Fût Unique N° 46

All About Cognac Cocktails - including 30 recipes

Full of character that adds that special something to even the most flavorsome of cocktails: Check out the Conte et Filles VSOP.

Deau URB’N

All About Cognac Cocktails - including 30 recipes

 A stand-out VS that was born to be used in a cocktail Cognac. Another well-deserving medal winner. Purchase Deau URB’N.

Planat Overproof

All About Cognac Cocktails - including 30 recipes

High-strength Cognac works so well in a cocktail. This 65% offering is our top choice. Buy Planate Overproof.

FAQs

What is a Cognac cocktail?

It’s a mixed drink containing at least two components, one of which will be alcohol—in this case, Cognac. Many Cognac cocktails have far more than two ingredients, such as mixers, juices, bitters, essences, and other alcoholic elements.

What is the most expensive Cognac cocktail?

Currently, The Ono, served at Encore Wynne, Las Vegas, NV at $10,000 for 2 servings. Other notable contenders are Salvatore’s Legacy (a little over $8,000) that can be bought at Salvatore at Playboy, London, UK, and the Ritz-Paris Sidecar ($1670) that you can purchase at Bar Hemingway, Ritz Hotel, Paris, France.

How do I make a Cognac cocktail?

Some require a cocktail shaker to mix the ingredients, others are stirred in the glass. We suggest purchasing a basic cocktail set (shaker, lemon press, cocktail spoon) and a range of glasses for serving. 

What Cognac should I use in a Cognac cocktail?

Ahh… The million-dollar question. The simple answer to this is, any one you like. However, many like to use some of the ones produced specifically for drinking this way. These are often over-proof to provide a depth of character that shines through the other mélange of flavors. VS and VSOP are the most commonly used, but there’s nothing to stop you adding your fav older quality to the mixed drink of your choice.

The art of drinking Cognac is, as we’ve always championed, best done your way. There’s no rights or wrong. The only prerequisite is that it brings you pleasure. So get mixing and experimenting.

And most importantly of all? Enjoy!

Get articles like these and more:
Subscribe to our mailing list

All About Cognac Cocktails - including 30 recipes

Get our Cognac Guide in form of an e-Book for free. Weekly updates about our stories, new products and deals.

Avatar
Author

Jacki has been with Cognac Expert from virtually the beginning. She's the senior editor of the blog, and has spent much of her life living in rural France. Today she's based back in the UK, where she splits her working life between writing for Cognac Expert and working as a Paramedic at a large regional hospital.

Write A Comment

BLACK WEEK: New Products & New Offers - up to 60% OFFSHOP NOW