The Armagnac Alternative

Making cocktails with Cognac's cousin

 


While cognac has a reputation that precedes it, France's other famous brandy, Armagnac, seems to go largely unrecognized here in the States, though it's technically the elder statesman of the category (it's been produced steadily since 1422). If you've found yourself unable to kick back with a snifter of Courvoisier without feeling an ambient sense of irony, Armagnac is your best bet for indulging in the gravity, mystery, and rich flavor profile of a world famous eaux de vie.

Armagnac's basics are similar to cognac's -- it begins with white wine grapes grown in southwest France -- though it is distilled just once, versus cognac's double-distillation, before it begins to the aging process.
Cocktail
Like other fine brandies, Armagnac is traditionally enjoyed on its own, in a snifter or other tulip-shaped glass that highlights the spirit's aromatics, but a few top mixologists are beginning to advocate for its use in cocktails. Mayur Subbarao, of New York's Mayahuel and Dram, suggests honoring Armagnac's stunningly complex contours with these sophisticated twists.

The Paris-Midi


1 oz Laubade VSOP Armagnac
1 oz Lillet Blonde
1 barspoon each lemon juice, orange curacao, maraschino

Combine ingredients in chilled mixing glass with cracked ice. Stir, strain into chilled cocktail glass, add lemon twist.

Fleur de Miel

1.5 oz Marie Duffau Hors d'Age Armagnac
0.75 oz Cream sherry or Noilly Prat ambre vermouth
0.25 oz Benedictine
1 barspoon honey syrup (1:1 honey:water)
2 dashes Peychaud's bitters

Combine ingredients in chilled mixing glass with cracked ice. Stir, strain into chilled cocktail glass, add lemon twist.

A la Recherché de Gascogne

1.5 oz Armagnac
1 barspoon Mezcal or scotch whisky
1 barspoon Cherry Rouge
1/2 barspoon Absinthe

Combine ingredients in chilled mixing glass with cracked ice. Stir, strain into chilled cocktail glass, add lemon twist.

Mentioned in this article

Comments

  • i would never dream of mixing armagnac with anything! fell in love with it on frequent business trips to france and introduced my husband while there on our honeymoon. we had it every night after dinner. brought home a '62 vintage L'Aubade that was bottled in 2000 - that was heaven!

    Nov 18, 2010 at 7:21 PM


  • Mixing it in cocktails is a sacrilge. Armagnac as well as cognac should only be savored by itself. Anything that dear should be fully enjoyed. For cocktails use a domestic "brandy" which should be more economical.

    Richard Hayes
    Souzas, SP
    Brazil

    Nov 19, 2010 at 9:53 AM


  • Snooth User: cafli
    592321 65

    you never would use a great Bordeaux wine to mix a Sangria either.

    Nov 19, 2010 at 3:52 PM


  • I would never us a Great Bordeaux to make a Sangria nor a Vintage-date Armagnac to make a cocktail however I would easily use an inexpensive Bordeaux to make a Sangria with and an VS Armagnac to mix in a cocktail and I promise you it would be lovely! Not all Armagnac is created equal and in fact most producers create an entry level Armagnac with the cocktail market in mind.

    Nov 20, 2010 at 10:40 AM


Add a Comment

Search Articles


Best Wine Deals

See More Deals »

Daily Wine WisdomMore Wine Tips








Snooth Media Network