Men in top hats, smoking cigars, swirling bulbous glasses may be the first image that comes to mind when you hear the word “Cognac.” Or perhaps Hugh Heffner in a silk robe, wetting his lips with a bit of the spirit. No matter how you spin it, Cognac is a sexy and sophisticated drink.
But before you try your hand with this digestif, here are three things you need to know about Cognac:
1. Like “Champagne”, “Cognac” is not just the name of a spirit but a place. While Cognac is a type of brandy (spirit distilled from grapes or other fruit), it takes its name from the town of Cognac in France. The surrounding vineyards are where it all begins.
You may feel like a rock-star, statesmen, or shipping tycoon as you swirl and sniff, but don’t forget Cognac’s roots. Cognac was originally distilled from all the leftover grape juice and was considered a drink for the less fortunate.
2. A Cognac connoisseur knows that the Three Wisemen, as far as Cognac is concerned, are not Jack, Jim and José, but Ugni Blanc, Folle Blanche and Colombard, the three grapes from which Cognac can legally be made.
3. Look out. Cognac is made from grapes but can warm you from the inside just like a glass of whiskey. Typically 80 proof, everyone’s spirits are sure to be lifted when you start pouring a splash of Cognac after dinner.
Above all, remember you are not Busta Rhymes: drinking Hennessey straight from the bottle will likely end in a disastrous night for all involved.
For maps and more on how Cognac is made visit www.cognac.fr
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