The evolution of Cognac has been a wonder to behold. What was first regarded as the tipple of the male aristocracy, who enjoyed it neat and within the strict confines of a cigar lounge, has now taken the modern world and contemporary scene by storm. The transformation of how we enjoy Cognac is obvious when you consider the vast array of delectable cocktails that eaux-de-vie now features in and how Cognac in mixed drinks is now commonplace in virtually every country around the world.

You only need to look at the fact that many Cognac brands now produce lines that are intended to specifically be used in cocktails to realize how much our beloved drink has embraced the 21st century.

We believe that Cognac cocktails first gained popularity in the USA and the trend was soon picked up by nations all over the world. Over the last decade or so Cognac cocktails have become a favorite in the hottest nightclubs and bars in China.

Cocktail on table
Photo by Edward Howell on Unsplash


In celebration of the rise of the Cognac cocktail, we decided to curate a 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.


On a side note, it’s worth mentioning that whilst we are not huge fans of sweet cocktails, we do enjoy a Cognac tonic on occasion, but we do believe a Fever Tree tonic is key to this concoction.


Essential kit for bringing your cocktail recipes to life


As with any job, if you want to mix cocktails well, then you need to have the right kit.

  • A lemon press is essential
  • A cocktail shaker
  • A bar spoon
  • Serving glasses; as much as drinking Cognac in its unadulterated form is best done from a tulip glass or balloon snifter, so is drinking a Cognac cocktail from the appropriate glass also vitally important. You’ll need a range of glasses depending on the cocktails you make. Sometimes you’ll need a highball, or a tumbler, a 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 palate.
Mixology essentials on table
Photo by Arina Ertman on Unsplash

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 here is a wide range of VS and VSOP Cognacs that would be suitable for any of the below cocktails.


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 promotes a cocktail known as the Summit. So let’s look at that one a little more closely.


1. Summit Cognac 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 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.

Summit Cognac Cocktail
Copyright: © BNIC / Konoisseur


(for the Summit mixologists’ names, please see the note at the bottom of this article)
So, that’s the Summit – let’s take a look at the other 29 cocktails on the list.


2. Alba

  • 3 cl Cognac 
  • 2 cl Orange juice
  • 1 cl Raspberry juice
  • Slice of orange
  • Ice cubes

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

3. Alexander Cocktail made with Cognac

  • 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 or cocktail glass and finish with some cacao or muscat powder. A perfect cocktail if you like your desserts in liquid form!

Alexander Cognac Cocktail
Copyright: © BNIC / Konoisseur

 

4. The Incredible Hulk

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.

5. Banana Bliss

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

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

6. 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

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

7. Beverly Hills

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

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


8. Bomber

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


Mix all ingredients together and serve on ice in a highball glass or tumbler. Add orange peel for garnish.


9. Bora Bora

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

Mix all ingredients well and serve in a cocktail glass.

Bora Bora Cognac Cocktail
Copyright: © BNIC/ Cristina Pedreira Pérez


10. 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.

11. Baltimore Eggnog

  • 3 cl Cognac
  • 4,5 cl Madeira
  • 1,5 cl Jamaican Rum
  • 2 teaspoons Sugar syrup
  • 1 Egg
  • 6 cl Crème
  • 120 ml of Milk
  • Muscat powder
  • Ice cubes


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

12. 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 the ingredients except the sugar and coffee together in a heat-resistant bowl and place over low heat. Add a lump of sugar, let it melt, and stir well before adding 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 the flames to die down and then serve in heat-resistant cups. This one’s a real show stopper!

13. 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 it into a Champagne glass. Add Cognac and then Champagne. Garnish with a slice of orange – and serve.

14. 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 a shaker, and shake. Pour into a Champagne glass, add the Champagne. You’re ready to serve.

15. Cognac Horse’s Neck

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

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

16. Corpse Reviver


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.

17. 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.

18. French Sherbet

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

Mix all the ingredients together apart from 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!


19. 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.

20. Japanese Cocktail

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

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

21. 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 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!

Mint Julep Cognac Cocktail
Copyright: © BNIC / Konoisseur


22. Olympic

  • 2 cl Cognac
  • 2 cl Fresh orange juice
  • 2 cl Curacao


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


23. Pousse Café

  • Grenadine
  • Brown crème de cacao
  • Maraschino
  • 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 ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Mix well, and pour into a glass to serve.

24. Prince Charles

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


Combine all ingredients in a shaker, then pour into a cocktail glass and enjoy.

25. 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.

26. 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.

27. Sour

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


The cherry is 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.

28. 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 you like). Add a pinch of salt and pepper, and garnish with the celery stick.

29. Cognac-Fizz

  • Egg-based cocktail (in a 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 rim with sugar. Place the rest of the ingredients in a shaker and shake well. Pour into the glass, and decorate with a slice of lemon.

30. 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

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.

So there you go, that selection of cocktail recipes should certainly keep you busy mixing, shaking, and tasting for a while! If you’ve got any other Cognac cocktail favorites then please let us know in the comments below and perhaps we’ll do another list with our connoisseur customer’s recommendations.

As mentioned at the beginning, please see the names of the incredibly talented mixologists from all over the world who were involved in creating the Summit cocktail:

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 Francisco), 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 Simon Difford (author of the Difford’s Guide)


Oh, and last but not least, Stanislas Vadrna from the Redmonkeygroup, Bratislava.


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

 

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Virginia has been managing the blog content team across the different blogs as well as the print Magazine. Originally from the Alsace region, she discovered Cognac to be a divers spirit with a lot of insights to explore.

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