Cognac is, of course, the perfect drink choice at any time of year. However, there’s no better month to add a special bottle or two to your collection than during the festive season. It’s also the perfect gift choice for the Cognac aficionado in your life—and that holds true for birthdays and other occasions as well.
Whether you’re looking for a Christmas Cognac, birthday gift, a special toast for a wedding or other happy occasion, there’s a bottle to suit. And if you love Cognac cocktails, then check out our article for 10 Christmas specials that are super-easy to mix at home.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at some unique Cognac Expert offerings that are perfect for the festive season, celebration, or a Cognac gift for that extra special person in your life.
Cognac Expert Exclusive Gifts
1. François Voyer Extra Cognac Exclusive Limited Edition for Cognac Expert
Grande Champagne, Hors d’Age, limited edition… These are three very big reasons why this offering from the family run house of François Voyer comes in firmly at the top of our list. This delicious, spicy eau-de-vie has been produced in a strictly limited run of 100 bottles and released for the Christmas season exclusively for Cognac Expert. That’s right—you can’t buy this anywhere else, and you’re going to have to be quick to claim a bottle for yourself.
The classic bottle is the perfect presentation for this Christmas edition Cognac. Subtle, traditional, yet with a contemporary feel, it’ll look fabulous on any festive table. The precious liquid within is tantamount proof of why we love small craft producers. Luxuriate in a tasting journey that’s complex, rounded, and extensive.
2. L’ESSENTIEL Limited Edition by Michael Forgeron for Cognac Expert
Our L’ESSENTIEL series is proving extremely popular, so much so that if you don’t move fast then you miss out. The latest collaboration with Michael Forgeron Cognac is perfect for the season, thanks to a complex spicy palate achieved from three decades of aging. Only 90 bottles have been produced and they’re selling quickly. So act now or miss out forever.
3. A Cognac Expert Personalized Subscription
The perfect gift at any time of year, our unique Cognac Subscription service provides a curated 2 bottle chosen by our expert team in accordance with your tastes. Choose from a learning, advanced, or connoisseur level with delivery monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly—the decision is yours.
A Snapshot of Festive Cognacs Produced Over Past Years
Of course, many Cognac houses produce editions for Christmas. These often end up as collector’s items and, if you own them, are prized editions. Some of the ones we’ve come across over the years are:
Remy Martin Limited Edition Cœur de Cognac Summer Snow. Released in 2010
Grönstedts Annual Christmas Cognac. A yearly edition
This Finnish drinks brand produced a festive offering for many years. The last one appeared to have been run 2013. No doubt this makes these bottle quite the collector’s item today.
Grand Marnier’s Cordon Rouge. Released in 2011
Braastad Limited Edition Christmas Cognac
A Fins Bois, Petite Champagne edition that’s produced in a 50cl bottle. It’s a limited edition, meaning that while it’s still available to purchase at the moment, it probably won’t be around for long.
J. Normandin 1993 Christmas Cognac
Produced in 1993 in a limited run of 240 bottles. This is another Christmas bottle that would be a prized addition to any Cognac or fine liquor collection.
Marnier‘s Parisian inspired 2013 Christmas bottle: Is this the perfect presentation of this famous Cognac-based orange liqueur?
Other Festive Ways to Enjoy Cognac
Adding Cognac into seasonal favorites is a classic way to make sure eau-de-vie plays a part in the celebrations. Check out the following for some delicious ways to imbibe.
Traditional Christmas punch
Before you dismiss the idea of punch as an out dated and, frankly ridiculous, idea, take a moment to understand the seasoned history behind the concept. It was first recorded in 1632 and was brought to the UK by sailors from the British East India Company in the early 1800s. The original recipe was made with a wine or brandy base and had five ingredients: alcohol, sugar, lemon, water, and tea or spices. These products combined to mix sour and sweet, weak and strong, and some bitter flavors to balance it out.
For the best use of Cognac in punch, try recreating what’s known as the Fish House Punch. This version originated in the USA and is a classic recipe that is ideal to serve at a Christmas party.
Ingredients: (1 part = 1 liter)
- Two parts dark rum
- One part Cognac (we recommend a good quality VSOP)
- Two parts water
- One part lemon juice (with 1 ½ cups of sugar dissolved into it)
- Couple of hefty slugs of peach brandy.
Place all the ingredients in the fridge for a good few hours before making the punch. When they’re all suitably chilled, place in a large bowl and mix together. Place the largest block of ice you can find in the bowl—it’s essential to serve the drink cold. Present in a punch bowl with ladle and glasses for your guests to serve themselves.
Boozy Christmas dinner additions
Mince pies, Christmas pudding, and brandy butter. Who doesn’t think this is the ultimate in calorie-splendid decadence! But it is Christmas, after all, and if you can’t think ‘blow the diet’ for the silly season, then when can you?
Of course, brandy butter can’t be made with any old brandy. It simply has to be Cognac, in our humble opinion. While there’s always pre-made versions to buy, if you’re thinking of making your own we love the following recipe:
- 180g butter
- 180g soft brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 50g ground almonds
- 3 tablespoons of your favorite Cognac. The quality is up to you, but for a luxurious twist we use a good VSOP or even a decadent XO.
Ensure that the butter is cool and firm (but not rock hard). Dice into small pieces and cream a little. Add the sugar and cream further, but don’t overdo it or it will end up too oily. Add the orange, lemon, and ground almonds. Slowly add the Cognac a tablespoon at a time. Top tip: even if you feel tempted to increase the amount of Cognac, don’t. It can make the butter too bitter. You can add a pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon, or even the contents of a vanilla pod, if you so wish.
Make the butter a couple of days in advance, cover tightly, and store in the fridge. If required, it can be made well in advance and frozen until the big day.
Traditional Eggnog (with Cognac, naturally)
The festive season is all about traditions—both those followed by people nationwide (and worldwide), as well as those that every family creates for themselves over the years. Here’s how to make the perfect Eggnog.
- 6 large eggs, separated
- ¾ cup of superfine sugar
- 2 cups of whole milk
- 3 cups of heavy cream, plus some extra for the garnish
- ½ cup of bourbon
- ¼ cup of dark rum
- ¼ cup of your favorite VSOP or XO Cognac
- Freshly grated nutmeg for sprinkling
Beat the egg yolks together in a large bowl until they become thickened and pale in color. Then slowly beat in the sugar, followed by whisking in the milk and 2 cups of the cream. Gently mix in the bourbon, rum, and Cognac. Cover and place in the fridge for up to a day. Whisk the remaining cream until if forms stiff peaks and fold into the eggnog mixture. If you prefer, you can fold half into the eggnog mixture and top the drinks with the remaining. Sprinkle nutmeg on the top and serve.
Living in Cognac at Christmas Time
Our home is a wonderful place in which to live all year round. But at Christmas, it’s truly magical. We’re delighted that one of our contributors and good friends from Jean Luc Pasquet Cognac put together an article for us as to how an ex-pat—French couple celebrate Christmas in Cognac. Read more in our article, Amy Pasquet: Cognac at Christmastime
Cognac Gift Ideas
Searching for a Cognac to gift or add to your collection? Look no further than the following list.
Remy Martin Napoleon 1738 Accord Royal Tradition Cognac
A blend of both Grande and Petite Champagne eaux-de-vie, it’s delightfully aromatic, with a fruity, yet spicy, taste on the palate. A truly good Cognac that deservedly won a double gold at the 2017 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Frapin Signature Grande Champagne Cognac
This high-end, Napoleon quality, Grande Champagne Cognac is not only wonderful to drink, but comes in an awesome decanter as well. This complex, fruity blend would be a great choice to purchase as a gift for any lover of fine liquor.
A.E. Dor Vieux Napoleon Cognac
One of the smaller Cognac houses A.E. Dor boasts a stock of vintage eaux-de-vie, many from the pre-phylloxera era. This is a rarity in the Cognac industry and one of the many reasons why the connoisseur should be sure to give their offerings a try. This Vieux Napoleon offering is a great introduction to their range.
Lhehaurd Extra Cognac
A Petite Champagne delight, that’s beautifully presented, the components have all been aged for around three decades; and that makes for a seriously good Cognac!
Park XO Extra Cognac
Please let’s pause a moment to honor what, in our humble opinion, is a truly outstanding offering from Park Cognac. Everything about it screams quality. From the delightful decanter and presentation box, through to the rollercoaster ride for the senses, if you’re looking for the ‘wow’ factor, then this one has it all.
Park Cognac only produce this Extra quality Cognac in small batches, and then hand craft it into the masterpiece that it is. With some truly fascinating aromas and flavors, this is a great example for a Cognac with that sought after Charantaise Rancio, only found in those that have truly been well aged.
Camus Extra Dark and Intense
Dark and Intense by name, and dark and intense by nature, this is a Cognac with a fascinating back story. The eaux-de-vie contained within the blend have undergone a unique ‘toasting’ process, whereby the contents are removed from the barrel, an open flame applied to the wood, and the liquid returned to continue the aging process.
This has the effect of regenerating the full aromatic potential of the barrel, so making for far more intensity in the flavors and aromas of the finished product. The carafe is also a work of art: dark, with a band and gold colored cap to represent the flame used in the above process. This makes for a real talking point, either when you present it as a gift or on producing the bottle to share with friends.
However and whenever you take your Cognac, enjoy. Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hannukah, Diwali, a birthday, wedding, anniversary, or simply just a get together with family and friends, Cognac is always a good companion.
Seasonal greetings from all of us at Cognac Expert. We wish you a happy and safe celebration.