You may have tasted it before, but do you really know how to drink cognac? Drinking straight from the bottle is not advisable; there is an art-form to sampling this pricey form of brandy. Named after Cognac, France, a famous wine-growing region, cognac must meet rigorous laws to be legally called by this name. For all the effort that's put into creating it, there is a proper way to drink cognac.
- High quality cognac
- Brandy-snifter or tulip-shaped wine glass
- Martini shaker and mixers (optional)
- Pour the cognac into a tulip-shaped wine glass. Be sure to use this special shaped glass that, through its carefully articulated dimensions, allows you to truly appreciate the aroma and taste once you actually drink the cognac.
- Warm the glass in your hands for a few minutes. This is one of the few times it's OK to touch your wine glass. Notice the color and the surface of the cognac and breathe in its aroma. Do you feel silly yet? Perhaps, but you're getting the full experience like a real cognac connoisseur.
- Once you have fully inhaled the scent, take a small sip. Don't overdo it, or you'll just be left with a burning sensation in your throat if you drink cognac like it's beer, since cognac is around 40% alcohol or 80 proof. Enjoy drinking cognac after dinner, while out for drinks with friends, or to take the edge off after a long day at work.
- Make cocktails with cognac. If drinking cognac straight-up isn't your thing, try making old-school cocktails that incorporate cognac. Don't buy the most expensive type when mixing, because that's just a waste. Shake up a sidecar by using cognac, lemon juice and orange liqueur, or try a sazerac, which combines cognac and bitters. The resulting concoctions will allow you to drink cognac or at least share it with your girlfriend.
Ultimately, there is no "right" or "wrong" way to drink cognac, but you've opened your senses to a new experience.
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You're not off the hook: This list includes dessert.