So you want to create your own Cognac bar at home. A place to wow your guests, or perhaps a cozy area where you can just kick back and relax. And, if you’re going to do this, then it deserves to be done right! And hey, that doesn’t necessarily mean spending out a fortune (although this, of course, depends on your Cognac tastes). But more about that later.

Build Your Own Cognac Bar

First of all, what do we actually mean by a ‘Cognac Bar’? Well, this is subjective, and boils down to your personal preference. But we think that the perfect Cognac bar should include the following:

  • A place to sit
  • A place to display your favorite bottles
  • Storage for more Cognac bottles
  • A selection of Cognac glasses
  • A selection of versatile glasses
  • Various products for the creation of mixed drinks and cocktails
  • Other items that pair well with Cognac

OK, so now we’ve got that straight, let’s head straight into how to easily build your own Cognac bar at home.

1. Select your location

Depending on your home, this could be in a number of places. You might choose to have the bar in a small corner of your sitting room or dining room. If you’re lucky, you may have a games room, snug, or ‘chill out’ area – that would be a good choice.

Build Your Own Cognac Bar

Or perhaps you have a whole separate building out in the yard that you can dedicate to become your Cognac bar! If so, you’ll be the envy of your friends…

The seating is up to you. Some big squashy sofas might be nice – with big cushions. Or some bar stools. If you’re planning on spending quite some time at your bar, make sure the seats are comfy.

Build Your Own Cognac Bar

Other nice touches, if you have the room and the inclination, might include a decent sound system (how about a Wurlitzer juke box?), some mood lighting, air-con or extra heating if the climate dictates, and perhaps some artsy, Cognac related pictures to add to the ambiance.

2. The bar area

This should be a combination of a display area and a place to prepare your drinks. So, a typical counter type bar will do just fine – you can display some bottles here, and you’ll need somewhere to store others, various mixers, glasses etc.

Build Your Own Cognac Bar

If you’re planning on serving Cognac cocktails, then you’re going to need a few other spirits as well. You might like to have these hung on the wall, with optics. This makes for easy dispensing and keeps them neatly out of the way (handy if you’re short on space).

A drinks fridge/freezer might seem a little decadent, but actually, it’s a great addition. It’s the perfect place to keep Cognacs such as ABK6 Ice, and for the adventurous types, even a bottle of Napoleon or XO (try it, you’ll be surprised).

It’s also a place to keep mixers cold, and make/store ice.

3.  Choose your glasses

OK, so you’re going to need the right glasses from which to enjoy your Cognacs. A selection of tulip glasses, balloon glasses, and perhaps some uber-trendy ‘wobble’ glasses too.

Build Your Own Cognac Bar

Of course, we all drink Cognac in a variety of ways now, so include some highball glasses (AKA Collins glass), lowballs, martini glasses, and champagne flutes.

4.  Select the sundries

Build Your Own Cognac Bar

By this we mean items like an ice bucket and tongs, cocktail shaker, bar spoon, muddler, sharp knife to cut fruits, salt and pepper, sugar and sugar cubes, water jug, lemon press, and grater.

Choose your mixers, such as Fever Tree Tonic, Coke, Soda Water, 7-Up…

Of course, if you’re not planning on making Cognac cocktails you probably won’t need a lot of these items.

5.  Choose the ‘other’ alcoholic products

You know, Vodka, Whisky, Gin, Champagne, Crème de Cassis, Bitters, etc.

6.  Select your Cognacs

Now comes the fun bit.

Build Your Own Cognac Bar

You’re going to want a good selection here, of all qualities.  And when it comes to choosing, you also want to take into account the attractiveness of the bottles you intend to display on the top of the bar.

Let’s go through this in order.

A selection of VS Cognac – for aperitifs, mixed drinks, and cocktails:

Hennessy Pure White

Bisquit VS Classic

Meukow VS 90

Landy VS

A versatile range of VSOP Cognac. These can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, neat, on the rocks, with a mixer, or are great for cocktails. Consider some of the following:

Remy Martin Prime Cellar Selection Number 16

Baron Otard VSOP

Hennessy Fine de Cognac

Claude Thorin VO Grande Champagne 1er Cru

Lheraud VSOP Emotion

A selection of good XO, Napoleon, and Extra quality Cognacs. These are some of our favorites:

Martell XO Extra Old

A. de Fussigny XO Fine Champagne

Martell XO Cordon Bleu

Courvoisier XO Imperial

Normandin Mercier La Peraudiere

Camus XO Borderies

Martell Noblige

Remy Martin 1738 Accord Royal

Martell Chanteloup Perspective

And, of course, you’ll need at least a couple of ‘talking point’ Cognacs:

Remy Martin Louis XIII

Martell L’Or de Jean Martell

Hine Millesime 1975 Early Landed

Meukow 1862 Esprit de Famille

Prince Hubert de Polignac Heritage

7.  Cigars, coffee, and chocolate

Many people enjoy pairing a good Cognac with a good cigar. Coffee and chocolate also accompany eaux-de-vie rather nicely.

So, a range of cigars, good chocolate (go for plain, with a high cocoa content), and some quality coffee might well be a consideration.

Good Cognacs to pair with a cigar include:

Park XO Cigar Blend

Martell Extra Cohiba

Frapin Cigar Blend Vieille Grande Champagne

Jacques Denis Extra Cigar Blend

Hine Prestige Mariage de Thomas Hine

So there you have it – the Cognac Expert guide to the perfect Cognac bar.

If you have any further ideas, please let us know. And if you’ve got a Cognac bar at home, then we’d love to see some pictures.

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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.

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    Ricky Ward

    Is Remy Extra considered to be a collectors item

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