1840 Pierre Ferrand Cognac

Your go-to Cognac for holiday recipes


If your holiday punch or beverage recipe calls for Cognac, but you're stumped about a cocktail-appropriate brand, the gents at Pierre Ferrand have just what you're looking for. Filled with history and perfect for holiday cocktails, this Cognac would make for a terrific gift to any aficionado, and is a great addition to your own liquor cabinet.

The story begins in the 1800s, when everyday affordable Cognac was a completely different spirit than the VS styles of today. It was darker and richer, with more of a kick to it. Barkeeps often reached for it to build cocktails because the strong flavors complimented the other ingredients. Since Prohibition, most Cognac has been produced as an elegant, sipping-by-the-fire-in-an-ascot spirit. While there is nothing wrong with that, it's a shame that a bolder, more mixable version of good quality hasn't been on the market. Until now.
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Pierre Ferrand 1840 Original Formula is a classic "three star" style created by Ferrand President Alexandre Gabriel and Cellar-Master Christian Guerin, with the consultation of cocktail historian David Wondrich. It was designed specifically as a cocktail base, modeled on one of the last surviving well-preserved bottles of Pinet-Castillon Cognac from the year 1840. This is not only an old and rare Cognac, but a valuable piece of sensory history because it pre-dates the phylloxera blight in the late 1800s. Since then, not only has production style changed, but also has grape composition. Ferrand 1840 is intended as a replica of a nearly extinct species of brandy.

The spirit is bottled at 90 proof (VS Cognac is traditionally 80). It tastes decidedly grapey, with notes of buttery vanilla, banana and Earl Grey tea-like aromatics. The tea flavors intermingle with the firm tannins and end in a toasty biscuit finish. This is definitely sippable, but in cocktails, it's the life of the party.

Some cocktail possibilities (of the many):

The Glimmering Orchard

Here's an easy sparkling cocktail that showcases the fruits of the Cognac by heightening it with pear liqueur. The aromatics add further elegance to this bubbly drink. *This can also be made as a punch for several guests.

1/2 ounce Ferrand 1840
1/2 ounce pear liqueur (such as Mathhilde Poire or Rothman and Winter Orchard Pear)
dry sparkling wine (Prosecco, Cava or a quality American brand such as Gruet)

Combine the Cognac and liqueur in a mixing glass with ice and stir until chilled. Strain into a chilled flute or coupe glass. Top off with sparkling wine. Garnish with candied ginger.

*For punch, use two bottles of the sparkling wine, a cup of the Ferrand 1840 and a 1/2 cup of the pear liqueur. Instead of the candied ginger, use lemon slices dipped in demerara sugar and powdered ginger. Place a small pile of the sugar and about a teaspoon of the ginger on a plate and mix, dredge the lemons in the mixture, and float them in the punch bowl.

Vieux Carré

This cocktail was invented as a tribute to New Orleans' French Quarter, the name meaning "old square‚" or "old quarter." While variations of this recipe have existed since the late 1930s, the Cognac was originally added to soften the rye. Here the aromatics and tannins give it more of a voice.

1/2 ounce Ferrand 1840
1/2 ounce rye (such as Old Overholt or Templeton)
1/2 ounce red Vermouth (such as Dolin, since it’s not as cloying as some others)
Barspoon of Bénédictine
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir until well chilled and strain into a chilled old fashioned (a.k.a. lowball) glass over one large ice cube. Garnish with a lemon twist or cocktail cherry.

Raspy Daisy

Traditionally, the red fruit in a Daisy is in syrup form (grenadine), although the base can vary. Here the raspberry liqueur tastes fresher and has a larger supporting role. The darker flavors of the Ferrand 1840 round out the acidity of the other fruits and give it more grip.

2 ounces Ferrand 1840
1/2 ounce raspberry liqueur (such as Mathilde Framboise)
1/2 ounces fresh lemon juice
1/2 - 1 tsp simple syrup (depending on desired sweetness)
chilled seltzer or club soda

Combine all ingredients except the fizzy one in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a highball glass filled with cracked ice. Top off with the fizz. Garnish with raspberries or a lemon twist.

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