The history behind a legend
 Strictly controlled origins
 Cognac Region
 Cognac growing areas
 Grape varieties
 Cognac distillation, the secret of the still
 Ageing gracefully
 Cognac tasting : sips of emotion
A thousand and one ways to drink Cognac
 Le Cognac and gastronomy

The history behind a legend

In a few words...

The wines of Poitou, La Rochelle and Angoumois, produced from high quality vineyards, were shipped to Northern Europe where they were enjoyed by the English, Dutch and Scandinavians as early as the 13th century. 
In the 16th century, they were transformed into eau-de-vie, then matured in oak casks to become Cognac. That was the start of the adventure for a town which was to become the capital of a world famous trade.

More about...

3rd century:
The creation of the Saintonge vineyards saw the Roman emperor Probus extend the privilege of owning vines and making wine to all the Gauls.

12th century:
With the encouragement of William X, Duke of Guyenne and Count of Poitiers, a great wine producing area was established, known as the Vignoble de Poitou.

13th century:
The wines produced in the Vignoble de Poitou were greatly appreciated in the countries around the North Sea, transported there on the Dutch ships that came to buy salt on the coast. The wine trade helped develop the business mentality of the Charente basin from the Middle Ages onwards.

Gradually the vineyards extended inland, through Saintonge and Angoumois. The town of Cognac was already well known for its wine trade and was an established centre of the salt business, an activity dating back to the 11th century.

16th century:
The Dutch ships came to the Cognac area to collect the well-known wines of the 'Champagne' and 'Borderies' growing areas. The Aunis vineyards were producing such great quantities of wines that they became difficult to dispose of, particularly because these low alcohol wines deteriorated during the long sea voyages.
Dutch merchants then began to use them in their new distilleries, transforming them into 'burnt wine' - brandwijn or brandywine.

17th century:
Double distillation was first practised in the region in the early 17th century. This meant that the wine, as eau-de-vie, no longer suffered from the shipping conditions. Much more highly concentrated than wine, spirits are easier to transport. The first stills installed in the Charente by the Dutch were gradually modified; the French developed and improved the technique by introducing double distillation. With the delays in unloading the ships, it became apparent that the eau-de-vie improved when left to age in Limousin oak casks, and it could even be drunk as it was, straight from the cask.

18th century:
The market became more established from the end of the 17th century. Owing to the demand for wine, 'Comptoirs' or agencies were created in the main towns of the area, some of which are still in existence. They collected the cognacs produced and established regular links with the buyers in Holland, England and Northern Europe, later extending to America and the Far East.

19th century:
Many more trading houses were set up, and in the mid-19th century, they began to ship their spirits in bottles rather than in cask.
This new form of trade gave rise to other industries: glassworks, the manufacturing of cases and corks, and printing.

By that time, the vineyards covered almost 280 000 hectares. Around 1875, the phylloxera virus appeared in the Charentes. This was to destroy the majority of the vines in the area, leaving only 40 000 hectares by 1893. It took many years of patience and effort to restart the regional economy after the catastrophe.

20th century:
During the first quarter of the century, the vineyards were slowly re-established, using American stock.
Although it has never achieved its previous level of production, careful tending has greatly improved harvests. Every stage in the making of Cognac is governed by regulations that are designed to protect the product, one

which is becoming increasingly valuable. 

Strictly controlled origins

In a few words...

Vigilance rhymes with excellence
Over a century ago, with the aid of the French government, the Cognac industry began to define a code of practice which would preserve the identity and quality of the spirit at every stage from production through to sales. Anyone not complying with the regulations in force is refused permission to use the Controlled Appellation 'Cognac'.

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Origins : a region, a vineyard, a method 
The boundaries of the Cognac production area are defined by decree (1).  It covers the department of  Charente-Maritime, a large part of the Charente and a few areas in Deux-Sèvres and the Dordogne.
The grapes picked to make Cognac belong exclusively to white varieties determined by decree (2). 
For the Sub-Regional Appellations, the products must comply with the following rules   (3) :

* principal varieties (90% of plantation); Ugni Blanc, Folle Blanche, Colombard.
* additional varieties (10% maximum): Blanc Ramé (Meslier Saint-François), Jurançon, Montils, Sémillon, Sélect.
Vinification has to be carried out using the most natural methods, and the following processes are outlawed  (2) :
* The addition of sugar
* The use of a continuous press (the Archimedes' screw-press) to press the grapes. 

Two-stage distillation 
 Cognac is distilled following a specific, traditional, two-stage method (2) : 
* In the still, the condensed vapours are sent back through the apparatus to be distilled a second time. This involves the use of the Charentais still, made entirely of copper with a total capacity not exceeding 30 hl and a maximum load of 25 hl.
* Maximum alcohol content of distillate: 72% vol.
* Distillation must take place by 31 March of the year following the harvest.

The art of ageing 
The following regulations apply to storage and  maturing :
* maturing must take place in a type of cellar known as 'Jaune d'Or' - 'Golden Yellow' - (4), reserved for Cognac and separated by a public thoroughfare from any other premises containing spirits of other origins. This bestows the right to use the special 'Jaune d'Or' transport permit introduced by the legislation.

* only oak casks   may be used (oak from the Limousin or Tronçais forests according to custom)
* the quantity and age of the product must be verified by  Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac,  the Cognac industry's governing body  (5)
* all Cognac sold must have been aged for a minimum period: count 2 (around 30 months).

A well-deserved name 
 To be sold to consumers in France and abroad, Cognac must have a minimum pure alcohol content of 40% vol. (2).
The name under which Cognac is sold must also comply with the interprofessional regulations (6)  which determine the minimum age of the Cognacs used in the traditional blends corresponding to each quality category.

(1)   Decree of 1 May 1909 as amended.
(2)   Decree of 15 May 1936 as amended.
(3)   Decrees of 13 January 1938 as amended.
(4)   Low of 4 August 1929 and Article 474 of the General Tax Code.
(5)   Order of 20 February 1946.
(6)   Decision of 23 August 1983 of the government commissioner to the BNIC. 

Cognac Region

A fortunate meeting 
The Cognac area lies at the point where a varied, exceptionally rich soil meets a microclimate, which is itself, the result of the meeting of the continent and the influence of the sea near by.
The differences between the six growing aeras (crus) of the Controlled Appellation aera, are expressed in the aromas and flavours which give each Cognac its own unique personality.

On the banks of the Charente 
 The Cognac Delimited Area extends along the banks of the Charente, the wide, beautiful river described by Henri IV as "the loveliest stream in my kingdom".
It covers a large part of the department of Charente, all of Charente-Maritime and a few areas of the Dordogne and Deux-Sèvres.

A rich and varied land 
This ancient country, once called Aunis, Saintonge and Angoumois, contains a wide variety of landscapes, ranging from open country -'champagnes' - with chalky soils, but also plains with red, stony earth and green valleys separating the hills and marshes, dotted with woodland. This diversity is reflected in the aromas, perfumes and flavours of Cognac and contributes to the richness of an amber spirit famous throughout the world.

The heart of Cognac 
 At the heart of the area are the towns of Jarnac, Segonzac and, of course, Cognac which gave its name to the celebrated eau-de-vie. Cognac lies 465 kms from Paris, 120 kms from Bordeaux and 100 kms from La Rochelle. In the same geographical area there are other well-known places to visit, such as Angoulême, Saintes, Rochefort, Royan and the islands, the Île de Ré (nicknamed "Ré la blanche") and the Î le  d'Oléron (known as "Oléron la lumineuse").

A question of climate 
With sufficient rain and an average annual temperature of 13.5°C (6.5°C in winter and 21.5°C in summer), the Cognac area has the ideal amount of sunshine and climatic conditions for producing high quality wines.
Maybe it is this special microclimate that contributes to the agreeable elegance and charm of what is sometimes called the Art de vivre of Cognac country.

Cognac growing areas

In a few words...

The geographical production area was defined by decree on 1st May 1909.
The aera is divided into six "growth" or "crus" spreading out concentrically from the town of Cognac : La Grande Champagne, la Petite Champagne, les Borderies, les Fins Bois, les Bons Bois, les Bois Ordinaires.

Following a centuries-old tradition, the Cellar Marsters blend the Cognac "eaux-de-vie" of different ages and growths, each one contributing its own personnality, flavour and bouquet to create an extraordinary yet constant harmony.

More about...

Proof x 6
While the Cognac Appellation may only be used for the spirits made in the Controlled Appellation area, as defined by the Decree of 1 May 1909, this does not mean that there is only one type of Cognac.
According to legislation, the area has been divided into six 'crus' or growing areas since 1938. The unique combination of their soils, their climate and their light is expressed in the wine they produce, giving a unique flavour to each Cognac

Grande and Petite Champagne
With its 35 700 ha of crumbly, chalky soil, rich in calcium carbonate, Grande Champagne is planted with around 13 000 ha of vines used to make Cognac white wines.These wines produce fine, light cognacs with a predominantly floral bouquet, requiring long ageing in the cask to achieve maturity.Petite Champagne (16 000 ha of Cognac vineyards) covers an area of 68 400 ha. Its composition is a less compact chalky layer which, in the western part of the district, is more exposed to the oceanic influence. The Cognacs it produces are similar to those of Grande Champagne but without their finesse.

The Borderies
This is the smallest of the six crus (13 440 ha). Lying north of Cognac, it has a microclimate all of its own. The 4 000 ha of vines produce fine, rounded Cognacs, smooth and scented with an aroma of violets. They reach optimum quality after a shorter ageing period than the Cognacs of Grande Champagne.

The Fins Bois and the Bons Bois
The Fins Bois area surrounds the first three crus, extending over 354 200 ha on a hard, limestone subsoil. A little over 33 000 ha of vines produce round, supple brandies which mature fairly quickly, with a bouquet that recalls the smell of freshly pressed grapes. Around the Fins Bois, the Bons Bois forms a vast belt of 386 000 ha of clay soils with little chalk. This district, with around 12 000 ha planted for Cognac, is more exposed to the coastal climate, and the altitude of some vineyards in the eastern part may be a factor in the resulting eau-de-vie, which matures more quickly and is rougher in the mouth.

The Bois Ordinaires
The sixth district, covering 274 176 ha, has less than 1 700 ha of vines producing Cognac white wines. The soil, almost exclusively sandy, lies along the coast or on the islands of Oléron and Ré, producing fast maturing eaux-de-vie with a characteristic local flavour.

Strictly controlled names
A decree dating from 1938 allows merchants to market their produce under the name of the district of origin of the eau-de-vie, as a Controlled Appellation (AOC). The decree also provides for a Cognac label to bear the Controlled Appellation Fine Champagne if the Cognac, a blend of Grande and Petite Champagne, contains at least 50% Grande Champagne.

Grape varieties

In a few words...

It all starts with the grape varieties (UGNI BLANC, FOLLE BLANCHE, COLOMBARD)  selected to produce the white wines destined exclusively for Cognac production.
This is followed by the traditional harvesting, pressing the grapes, making the wine using natural methods, and ends with the distillation of the wines.
Thus Cognac is born, going on to mature for many long years in oak casks, before being officially presented to the world.

More about...

The makings of greatness 
Taking all the growing areas together, the Cognac Delimited Area comprises around 80 000 ha and 15 000 vineyards which produce the Charentes white wine used in making Cognac.
The vineyards are planted with Ugni Blanc (plus a little Folle Blanche and Colombard). This late maturing variety has a good resistance to disease and produces a wine which has two essential features: a high level of acidity and a generally low alcohol content. Since the phylloxera epidemic in the last century, all the varieties used have been grafted onto various vinestocks selected according to the type of soil.

Mid-October: the harvest 
 The vines are planted on average 3 metres apart. All types of pruning are permitted.
Some winegrowers still harvest by hand, but the vast majority now use mechanical pickers. These machines have been in existence for nearly twenty years and are perfectly suited to the needs of the region's growers.

Pressing and fermentation: the natural way 
The grapes are pressed immediately after harvesting in traditional horizontal plate presses or in pneumatic presses. Continuous presses, using the Archimedes' screw press, are not allowed.
The juice is immediately put to ferment. Chaptalization (the addition of sugar) is forbidden by law. Pressing and fermentation are closely supervised, as they have a determining influence on the final quality of the eau-de-vie.

The springtime rendez-vous
The wines obtained after about three weeks' fermentation contain approximately 8% alcohol by volume. Sometimes too weak, acidic and rather unpleasant for immediate consumption, they are however perfect for distillation, which has to be completed by the following 31 March at the latest.

Cognac distillation, the secret of the still

In a few words...

Once alcoholic fermentation is completed, the white wine has to be distilled immediately to make "the eau-de-vie" 

Over the centuries, the method of distillation has not changed. The special Charentais still that was used then, the "alambic à repasse", is still used today.
The distillation of Cognac is a two-stage process : 

-stage one : a first distillate is obtained, known as "broullis", with an alcoholic strength of between 28 to 32 % volume.

-stage two : the "brouillis" is returned to the boiler for a second heating, known as "la bonne chauffe".

The "heads" and "tails" of distillation are separeted, leaving only the "heart" of the spirit which will become Cognac. 

More about...

Why is distillation necessary ?
Alcohol is a product of the fermentation of the sugars, which are found naturally in fruit in the form of glucose or levulose.The alcohol is found with many other components and must therefore be isolated from them. The alcohol is released in the process of distillation.The principle of distillation is based on the differences between the various components. In a distilled spirit, we find only those light substances that make up the main features of the bouquet.

Which wines are distilled ?
Cognac is obtained by the distillation of white wines harvested in the Controlled Appellation area. These wines have high acidity and a low alcohol content.

The perfect still 
Distillation is carried out in two 'chauffes' - two separate heatings - in a special Charentais still comprising a characteristically shaped boiler, heated with a naked flame and topped with a cowl shaped like a turban, an olive or an onion. There is a swan-neck tube, which leads off from this, becoming a condensing coil, which passes through a cooling tank known as 'the pipe'.

Operation distillation 
he unfiltered wine is put into the boiler and brought to the boil. Alcoholic vapours are given off and collect in the cowl, entering the swan-neck then passing into the coil. On contact with the coolant, they condense, draining away as the liquid known as 'brouillis'.
This slightly cloudy liquid, with an alcohol content of 27 to 30% vol., is returned to the boiler for a second distillation, called 'la bonne chauffe'.

  For this second stage of heating, the boiler capacity must not exceed 30 hectolitres and the quantity of 'brouillis' is limited to 25 hectolitres. The distiller must then carry out the delicate operation known as 'cutting' - 'la coupe' : the vapours that arrive first have the highest alcohol content and are called the 'heads'. These are separated off (they account for only 1 to 2% of the volume). Next comes the 'heart', a clear spirit (an average not exceeding 72% vol.) which will produce Cognac.

Finally, the distiller takes out the 'tails' when the alcoholometer registers 60% vol. The heads and tails are redistilled with the next batch of wine or 'brouillis'. During both stages of the operation, the times and temperatures are closely monitored.
The success of the distilling cycle, which lasts around 24 hours, requires the constant surveillance and great experience of the distiller. Through his distilling techniques (the proportion of fine lees, reheating the seconds with wine or 'brouillis', temperature curves and so on) the Cognac develops some of the features of its personality.

The atmosphere of the Charentes 
 The Charentais still often has an energy-saving wine reheater. This optional device, in which the heat is provided by the alcohol vapours passing through it, preheats the wine, which is to be distilled in the next cycle.

Final day for distillation : 31 March of the year following harvesting 
The Charentais still often has an energy-saving wine reheater. This optional device, in which the heat is provided by the alcohol vapours passing through it, preheats the wine, which is to be distilled in the next cycle.

Ageing gracefully

In a few words...

Cognac is a living thing. During its time in the oak casks it is in permanent contact with the air. This allows it to extract the substances from the wood that give both its colour and its final bouquet.

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Ageing is indispensable if an eau-de-vie is to become Cognac. It takes place in casks or barrels that hold between 270 and 450 litres. 
The natural humidity of the cellars, in which the casks are stored, with its with its influence on evaporation, is one of the determining factors in the maturing process. With the balance  between humidity and dryness, the spirit becomes mellow and ages harmoniously.

The hands of time 

 The long work of maturing Cognac, sometimes lasting for decades, is made possible by the porosity of the wood, which provides indirect contact between the spirit and the surrounding air.
The substances extracted by the Cognac from the wood, called 'dry extracts', alter the physical appearance of the Cognac by giving it a colour ranging from golden yellow to fiery brown. The transfer of the natural characteristics of the oak wood gradually produces the special flavour known as 'rancio' and develops the bouquet of the Cognac.
The maturing process has three main phases: extraction, degradation or hydrolysis, and oxidation.

A little corner of  paradise 
The oldest Cognacs are kept in a dark cellar, usually away from the other cellars and known as 'the Paradis'.
Once they have reached maturity, the cellar master decides to stop the ageing process and puts them first into very old oak casks, then into glass demi-johns, in which they can stay for many 

years without further development, no longer in contact with the air.

The Angel's Share 
 All the time that the Cognac is in the cask, absorbing the best of the oak, developing its most exquisite flavours, it is in contact with the air, and gradually loses some - but not too much - of its alcoholic strength and its volume.
This natural evaporation is poetically known as 'the Angels' Share'.
The evaporation represents the equivalent of over twenty million bottles per year, disappearing into thin air. This is a very heavy price to pay, but the producers know that it is the only way to attain perfection.
A microcospic fungus, torula compniacensis, feeds on the alcohol vapours released through the evaporation process, covering and blackening the stone walls of the cellars, giving them their characteristic colour.

The Blending

Faithful and true
Making Cognac is the work of the Master Blender. Applying strict control, experience and intuition, he subtly blends eaux-de-vie of different ages and crus, producing a Cognac that through the years will not only retain its own personality, but will also keep a place in the heart of the consumer

Following the rules
Cognac has a worldwide reputation, which needs protecting. Over many years, rules have been established to eliminate any copies being produced, both in production and in presentation. Nonetheless, Cognacs are not alike. Through the subtle blending of different flavours, each Master Blender aims to produce a Cognac that will win the hearts of many admirers.Each Cognac house makes a great effort to preserve the quality and taste of their own style from year to year

The master's touch
The Master Blender buys the eaux-de-vie and follows them from the moment they leave the still. He watches over the maturing process, decides when to change the casks or move them to another cellar. His wealth of experience enables each Cognac house to maintain the quality of its product. He creates harmony by blending eaux-de-vie of different ages and from different growing areas. It is a delicate task requiring great precision, and one that enables every consumer to recognise and enjoy the Cognac of his choice..

 True to the letter

Classes of Cognac
Cognac may not be sold to the public unless it has been aged for at least two and a half years, counting from 1 October of the year the grapes were harvested. The age of the Cognac is shown as that of the youngest eau-de-vie used in the blend.

A Cognac is identified by its label, with names which are easily recognisable by the consumer, 
such as:
- V.S. or *** (three-star) for Cognacs in which the youngest eau-de-vie is under four and a half years old;
- V.S.O.P. (Very Superior Old Pale);
- Reserve, etc, if the youngest Cognac is between four and a half and six and a half years old

- Napoléon, X.O, Hors d'âge... etc, for Cognacs whose youngest Cognac is at least six and a half years old.

 Generally speaking, the houses will use cognacs that are much older than the minimum requirement. Those used in the most prestigious denominations may have been aged for several decades.

The term Fine is authorised by the 1938 law to designate a Controlled Appellation (AOC) cognac. For example, a Grande Fine Champagne is a Controlled Appellation Grande Champagne Cognac containing 100% cognac from the Grande Champagne district. The Fine Champagne Controlled Appellation is given to a Cognac, which is a blend exclusively of Grande and Petite Champagne Cognacs, with a minimum 50% of Grande Champagne.

Glossary of the Cognac Controlled Appellation
- Cognac.
- Fine Cognac.
- Eau-de-vie de Cognac.
- Eau-de-vie des Charentes.
- Grande Champagne or Grande Fine Champagne: 100% Grande Champagne Cognacs.
- Petite Champagne or Petite Fine Champagne: 100% Petite Champagne Cognacs.
- Fine Champagne: Cognac, which is blended exclusively from Grande and Petite Champagne with a minimum 50% of Grande Champagne
- Borderies or Fines Borderies: 100% Borderies Cognacs.
- Fins Bois or Fine Fins Bois: 100% Fins Bois Cognacs.
- Bons Bois or Fine Bons Bois: 100% Bons Bois Cognacs.

Cognac tasting : sips of emotion

Choosing the right glass
To taste a Cognac you must first ensure that you are using a glass, which will allow the spirit to display its true characteristics.
The glass most recommended is the tulip shape. Its form allows the whole aroma of the Cognac to be contained and only slowly released during tasting. The glass must also be fine enough to allow the true colour and the body of the spirit to be properly seen.

Au nez et à l'œil 
 As soon as the nose comes near the glass, the volatile aromas in the spirit can be smelt - this is known as the montant.  After swirling the spirit gently in the glass, the true character of the  bouquet of Cognac begins to be released.

Fruity or floral aromas may be detected: dry camomile, vine flower, vine cana, crushed grape, violet, vanilla... this is the second "nose".

A marvel to behold on the palate 
Cognac really shows its true colours when in contact with the palate. Here, flavours combine with aroma to give a true taste. Only then can the personality traits of the spirit be revealed as roundness, sweetness, smoothness, refinement, lightness, rancio, or harmony. Many different sensations will emerge which allow you to discover and enjoy your favourite Cognac.

Tasting as a pleasant chore 
 While the Cognac drinker may enjoy tasting for his own pleasure, those in the trade use tasting as a useful tool.
Along with chemical analysis, tasting is the most reliable method for developing and marketing a product of consistently high quality. Tasting is used to monitor the Cognac through the different stages 

of distillation, ageing and blending - which is a neccessary part of Cognac making - and finally in order to assess the definitive characteristics of the product which is to be released on to the market. 

Glossary of words used in tasting:
Odour: All olfactory sensations directly smelt 
Aroma : All olfactory sensations perceived retro-nasally (the pleasant fragrance released from a drink) 
Bouquet : Combination of olfactory sensations (odour plus aroma) 
Montant : First fragrance released from Cognac 
Length : Persistence of first odours released from Cognac (length of the intensity of the "montant") 
Savour : Sensations of taste on the tongue and palate 
Taste : Combination of sensations in the mouth (savour plus aroma) 
Flavour : Combination of sensations in the nose and mouth (taste plus bouquet) 
Body : Used to describe a spirit which is soft and smooth and which rolls under the tongue 
Rancio : Term used in the Charentes to describe the flavour of Cognac matured in oak casks, becoming increasingly intense over the years. 
Sweet, acidic, salty, bitter The four flavours on the tongue 

A thousand and one ways to drink Cognac

In the purest tradition
Savour the moment at the end of a meal with a glass of Cognac. Serve it in a "Tulip glass" to enjoy its true character... and then sit back, and discover the richness of its bouquet and its subtle flavours.

Cognac: Innovative in style 
 Cognac can also be served in surprising, new ways. It blends harmoniously with sparkling water or tonic water to make the perfect aperitif to be enjoyed amongst friends.
All across the world, people are enjoying new ways of serving Cognac. In the United States Cognac long drinks are very popular and in Japan Cognac is often served as a long cool drink on a summer afternoon and even served right throughout a luxurious meal.

Here some suggestions for drinking Cognac



 Cognacand fizzy water

2 cl VSOP Cognac
Ice cubes
Fizzy water according to taste 


2 cl VS or VSOP Cognac
Ice cubes
Tonic according to taste 

Cognacginger ale

2 cl VS or VSOP Cognac
Ice cubes
Ginger ale according to taste 


Ice cubes
Pour the soda and then, gently,VSOP Cognac which floats on top 


2 cl VS or VSOP Cognac
Lemon Juice
Soda according to taste 


2 cl VS or VSOP Cognac
Ice cubes 


2 cl VS or VSOP Cognac
Orange juice according to taste
decorate with a slice of orange 




2 cl  Cognac
Ice cubes
Orange juice
A drop of strawberry liqueur 


1/7 VS or VSOP Cognac
1/7 Pineau
5/7 orange juice
A drop of strawberry liqueur 


In a shaker :
A drop of syrup
2/3 VS ou VSOP Cognac
1/3 fresh lime juice
A cherry 

Cognacde zéro heure tendre

A drop of rasperry liqueur
3cl VS ou VSOP Cognac
Chilled Champagne
Two or three fresh rasperries 


In a shaker :
A drop of cane sugar syrup
1/5 VS ou VSOP Cognac
A drop of  Malibu
3/5 fresh orange juice
1/5 limon juice 


In a shaker :
1/4 limon juice
1/4 Cointreau
1/2 VS ou VSOP Cognac


4 cl VS or VSOP Cognac
2 cl Cherry
1 cl vanilla liqueur
7 cl blood orange juice 

Le Cognac and gastronomy

The taste of happiness
When the flavours and aromas of Cognac are employed to help with cooking, haute cuisine takes on a whole new meaning.
Whatever the dish, a hint of Cognac will always give it that little extra that transforms the excellent into the simply sublime.

More than one dish
There are not only things that can be flambed with Cognac, like lobster and crèpes Suzette, for instance.
But Cognac can also replace vinegar or lemon juice in mayonnaise and is perfect for making delicious sauces and gravies.
There are also all the traditional meat and fish dishes to which a dash of Cognac adds a final, personal touch.
A little spoonful of Cognac spread delicately over fresh fruit or desserts as varied as chocolate mousse or Bavarian cream will delight even the most demanding palate.

Recipes suggestions
Fried scallop
Chocolate truffles 

Cognac and gastronomy : Mouclade

Ingredients  (serves 4)
2 kg mussels
1 glass white wine or white pineau
1 tbsp. butter
30 ml cognac
1 level tbsp. flour
1 clove garlic, grated
1 tbsp. double cream
1 egg yolk, juice of half a lemon

Clean the mussels then put them in a big casserole with the wine, garlic, lemon juice, cognac and a bouquet garni. Cover and bring quickly to the boil.
Once the mussels have opened, take them out and keep the juices. 
Take one of the two halves of the shell off each mussel and lay them on a serving dish.
Keep the dish hot over a pan of boiling water. 
Make a light roux with the flour and butter, then add the cooled, strained cooking juices. Stir and cook, adding a little water if necessary.
In a bowl, blend the egg yolk and the cream with a little of the sauce, adding it a spoonful at a time. Then add the contents of the bowl to the rest of the sauce.
Cover the mussels with the sauce and garnish with a little parsley

 Cognac and  Gastronomy : Fried scallops

Ingredients  (serves 4)
12 scallops
50 ml cognac
2 or 3 cloves garlic
Butter, oil, parsley

Open the scallops. Remove them from the shells, taking off the black part. Rinse thoroughly to remove the sand. Drain them on a cloth and cut into large cubes.
Wash and brush the four nicest and deepest shells and leave them aside in very hot water.
Fry the scallops very quickly on high heat in the oil and butter. Reduce the heat once the juice has been absorbed and leave to cook for 5 minutes.
Add the finely chopped garlic and leave on a low heat for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Then pour on the lighted cognac. Remove from heat, add a big knob of butter and mix. Put the mixture into the four shells. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and freshly ground pepper

Cognac and Gastronomy : Chocolate Truffles

Ingredients  (for 350 g of truffles)
100 g dessert chocolate
1 tbsp. milk
100 g butter
1 tbsp. cognac
2 eggs yolks
1 tbsp. double cream
80 g unsweetened cocoa
Vanilla extract
125 g icing sugar

Melt the chocolate over a very low heat, adding the milk and the cognac. Add the softened butter, the eggs yolks, 50 g of cocoa, the cream, icing sugar and vanilla extract.
Leave the mixture in the fridge to rest for a few hours.
Shape it into walnut-size balls with a spoon. Roll the balls in the remaining cocoa. Keep the truffles in the fridge.


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