Cognac… In a cocktail?!

So the title of this post may confuse some, after all Cognac is a common spirit used in cocktails. However it’s not a spirit I usually meddle with when creating cocktails, mainly because it’s not my favourite, although its slightly higher price tag (for a decent quality bottle anyway) is always a turn off.

So it was a refreshing surprise to see that the March Shaken Cocktails box came with a cognac theme! It meant that I had to use it to create, at least, the two cocktails in the booklet…

The box, as plain – yet slightly alluring, as always came with the main spirit: Cognac, a couple of minor spirits: Triple Sec & Kings Ginger Liqueur (41 %!!!) and then followed up with a couple of syrups: Cinnamon Syrup & plain sugar syrup. Whilst I had to go out and buy the fresh apple juice and fresh lemons*, creating of the drinks was simple yet fulfilling…

As always the two cocktails were different enough as offer a strong, short cocktail as well as a longer, more refreshing (and lighter) cocktail for those, like me, who like their alcohol a little more mixed in

I created both cocktails to the specifications sent with the box, before tweaking the recipes to my taste as and where needed. The stronger cocktail was, as thought, strong and quite hard to finish for someone of my persuasion.

The long cocktail, however, was near perfection, and the recipe helped blend the ingredients perfectly. Although I feel Cinnamon is a flavour that should rarely roam outside of autumn or winter, the longer cocktail is perfect for mild spring-time evenings out in the garden.

Every time a box turns up I get all giddy, I just love making cocktails, and better yet I love making new cocktails. There are only so many times you can make a mean Daiquiri before it gets a little old.

So every time one turns up the box is destroyed (then recycled) and the bottles are fawned over until I calm down and read the booklet… I’ve included the recipes, along with a little picture of each drink…

The recipes:

#1: Sidecar

Blending Cognac, Triple Sec & Lemon Juice perfectly: The Sidecar Cocktail...
Blending Cognac, Triple Sec & Lemon Juice perfectly: The Sidecar Cocktail…

Recipe:

40ml Merlet Brothers Blend Cognac

30ml Merlet Brothers Triple Sec

15ml fresh Lemon Juice

5ml sugar syrup

Method:

  • First rim a fancy cocktail glass with sugar, use lemon juice as an adhesive.
  • Shake for 20-30 seconds with ice, or until the shaker ices over.
  • Strain into the rimmed cocktail glass and garnish with a twist of lemon peel.

This cocktail is based on a classic Sidecar with a few little tweaks. The original is a 3 ingredient special: A strong spirit, sweeter spirit & fruit juice [Cognac, Triple Sec & Lemon Juice]. Shaken say the taste of the original is a little sour, and they’re not wrong. Personally I like the original but I also love tweaking recipes so this version is right up my street.

Whilst I’m not usually a fan of strong cocktails the Sidecar, like the Daiquiri, is a strong, yet refreshing cocktail and therefore a little easier on your mouth.

Whilst I love tweaking cocktails, this recipe is pretty good and there was not much I could do with the other ingredients I currently have, so no tweaking here.

#2: Covet

This cocktail is perfect for what I like to call porch time: When it's a nice evening and you can just chill-out with a nice cocktail in your hands...
This cocktail is perfect for what I like to call porch time: When it’s a nice evening and you can just chill-out with a nice cocktail in your hands…

Recipe:

40ml Merlet Brothers Blend Cognac

15ml Kings Ginger Liqueur

15ml Cinnamon Sugar Syrup

20ml Fresh Lemon Juice

30ml Cloudy Apple Juice

Optional: Top up with Soda Water

Method:

  • Chill a tall glass in your freezer and fill a shaker half way with ice.
  • Combine all the ingredients in the shaker and shake well, for around 30 seconds (or until the shaker ices over).
  • Fill your tall glass ¾ full with cubed ice.
  • Strain your drink into the glass and garnish with a twist of lemon and a couple of straws.

This cocktail is perfect for a summers evening, and even better for the spring. Spring time is famous for trees flowering their blossoms, birds singing glorious songs and the weather, whilst unpredictable (here in the UK at least), is just starting to warm and if you luck out you might just get some porch time. This cocktail will be perfect for that porch time. It’s long, so it’s not too strong. It’s also going to keep cold enough to sip thoughtfully, as well as drink quickly. Its flavours are surprisingly fit for spring, despite the cinnamon being more of an autumn/winter spice.

Overall it’s a very good cocktail, that whilst I tweaked mine by adding some soda water (just to lengthen it a little), it’s got a bit of a kick to it without the soda so if that’s how you prefer your drink, leave it out.

These cocktails are a great addition to my repertoire and a wonderful selection by the guys and gals over at Shaken Cocktails. I’ll be enjoying a few more drinks using that Ginger liqueur too, at least until the next box turns up later this week!!!

Until then, enjoy the recipes and tweak away!

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