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 that many Cognac brands now produce lines that’re intended to specifically be used in cocktails to realize 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

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

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

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 and 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
  • Slice of orange
  • Ice cubes

Place the Cognac, orange juice, and rasperry juice in the shaker, together with the ice cubes, and shake!  Pour into a pre-cooled glass, add the orange slice on top…  And you’re ready to serve.

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, pour into a tumbler glass and finish with some cacao or muscat powder.

Arago

  • 2 cl Cognac
  • 2 cl Crème de Banane
  • A little crème fraîche
  • Syrup
  • Ice cubes

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

Banana Bliss

  • 2 cl Cognac
  • 2 cl Crème de Banane
  • Ice cubes
Banana Bliss

Put two ice cubes and the other ingredients into a mixing glass. Stir well, then and into a tumbler glass to serve.

Between the sheets (A classic)

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

Shake ingredients together with the crushed ice, pour into glass, and decorate with the lemon slice.

Beverly Hills

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

Place all ingredients in shaker, mix well – pour into a cocktail glass.

Bomber

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

Mix all ingredients together and serve on ice.

Bora Bora Cocktail

Bora Bora

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

Mix all ingredients and serve in a cocktail glass.

Brandy Daisy

  • 2 cl Cognac
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Splash 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.  Pour into a cocktail glass and add the sparkling water.

Baltimore Egg Nogg

  • 3 cl Cognac
  • 4,5 cl Madeira
  • 1,5 cl Jamaica Rum
  • 2 teaspoons sugar syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 6 cl crème
  • 120 ml of milk
  • Muscat
  • Ice cubes

Put all ingredients except the milk and Muscat into shaker.  Add the ice.  Mix well and pour into a collins glass.  Add milk and at the last moment, a touch of Muscat powder.

Café Brûlot (serves 8)

  • 0,25 liter of Cognac
  • The peel of one orange
  • The peel of one lemon
  • 8 cloves
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 cubes of sugar
  • 1/2 liter hot coffee

Mix all ingredients except the sugar and coffee in a heat resistant bowl and place over a low heat. Add a lump of sugar, let it melt and stir well. Add coffee.

Take the second sugar lump and soak in the Cognac.  Place on a spoon and heat over a flame.  Once it’s burning, dip it into the bowl – the surface of the liquid should start to flame.  Allow these to die down, then serve in heat resistant cups.

Cafe Brulot Cocktail

Champagne Cocktail

  • 1 cube of sugar
  • Few drops of Angostura
  • 2 cl Cognac
  • 8 cl Champagne
  • 1 slice of orange

Dip the sugar lump into the Angostura and place into champagne glass. Add Cognac, then add Champagne. Decorate with the slice of orange – and serve.

Pick-Me-Up

Champagne Pick-me-up

  • 2 cl Cognac
  • 2 cl Orange juice
  • A splash of Grenadine
  • Ice cubes
  • Chilled Champagne

Place all the ingredients except the Champagne into shaker, and shake… Pour into Champagne glass, add the Champagne.  You’re ready to serve.

Cognac Horse’s Neck

  • A little lemon peel
  • 2 cl Cognac
  • Ginger Ale
  • Ice cubes

Add the ice cubes, Cognac and lemon peel into the glass.  Then pour over the ginger ale and serve.

Corpse Reviver

Corpse Reviver

As the name suggests, this is a great cure if you’ve over indulged 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.

Devil’s milk

  • 0.5 cl raspberry syrup
  • 2 cl Cognac
  • Fresh milk
  • Fresh raspberries
  • Ice cubes

Mix the ice cubes with syrup and Cognac. Add milk and stir well.  Decorate with a raspberry or two.

French Sherbet

  • 1 cl Cognac
  • 1 cl cherry brandy
  • Sugar syrup
  • A little Angostura
  • Champagne
  • Cherry ice crème

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

French Green Dragon

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

Shake all the ingredients together and serve in a cocktail glass.

Japanese Cocktail

  • 6 cl Cognac
  • A touch of almond oil
  • A little Angostura
  • Lemon peel
  • Crushed ice

Place all ingredients into shaker and mix well.  Pour in cocktail glass and decorate with lemon peel.

Mint-Julep Au Cognac

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

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.  Clean the mint branches, dampen, and roll in the powdered sugar.  Use these as decoration.

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

Olympic

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

Simple to make.  Combine all the ingredients in a shaker, shake well, pour, and serve.

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

With either recipe, simply place all in a cocktail shaker.  Mix well, and pour into a glass to serve.

Prince Charles

  • 6 cl Cognac
  • 4 cl Drambhuie
  • 4 cl lemon juice
  • Ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in a shaker, then pour into cocktail glass.  Enjoy…

Rolls Royce

  • 3 cl Cognac
  • 3 cl Cointreau
  • 6 cl Orange juice
  • 1 egg white
  • Ice cubes

Mix all ingredients well, then pour into a glass of your choice.

Side Car

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.

Sour

Sour Cocktail
  • 2 cl Cognac
  • 1 cl lime juice
  • A little sugar syrup
  • 1 cherry

The cherry’s for decoration, so leave this to the end.  Mix the rest of the ingredients well in a cocktail shaker.  Pour into a glass, and pop the cherry on the top.

Volga

Vodka based cocktail – with Cognac for a twist

  • 3 cl vodka
  • 1 cl cognac
  • 1 glass tomato juice
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Celery
  • Pinch of salt

Place the vodka, Cognac, and tomato juice in a cocktail shaker – and shake.  Pour into a glass (over ice, if yo like).  Add a pinch of salt and pepper, and decorate with the celery stick.

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
  • Crushed ice

Dampen the edge of a cocktail glass and edge with sugar.  Place the rest of the ingredients in a shaker and mix well.  Pour into the glass, and ecorate with a slcie of lemon.I

 

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 more cognac cocktail recipes, check out our new Cognac Drinks & Cocktails section.

Comments (8)

  1. Hendrik J March 29, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    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 June 12, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    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 December 31, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    tastey looking new drinks i need to try!!lol

  4. hp February 15, 2012 at 6:22 am

    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 June 5, 2012 at 4:37 am

    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 June 4, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    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.

  7. Madhu Pillai August 1, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    Hello. Past Five years I have been using Cocktail” Remy Terrain” I named and the recipe is as given:-
    3oz Cognac Remy Martin or any Cognac VSOP
    1 oz of Kiwi juice with lemon
    A bit of Angostura
    4 pcs of ice cube
    All this ingredients pour it on cocktail shaker and shake well and pour it on a ice cooled long glass.. Try this and enjoy your drink.. and dont say good night Hook up a slim beauty or if you are woman go for a monkey man preferably with atleast 4 pack ..

  8. Dale Savary September 30, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    Saved as a favorite, I really like your web site!

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