Here are the top Cognac cocktails to try using this high-end brandy! Try everything from a classic Sidecar to the beloved Sazerac.
Are you a Cognac lover? This high-end French brandy is tasty neat or on the rocks. But it’s even more fun mixed into cocktails! Got a got a bottle of Cognac to use up? Have we got the mixed drinks for you.
Here are all the best Cognac cocktails to try! Start with the classic Sidecar, a tangy sour cocktail from the early 1900’s that was a predecessor to the margarita. Or if you’re short on time, try the French Connection, a quick and easy two-ingredient cocktail. There are a few brandy cocktails mixed in, where you can use Cognac for an even more stunning drink.
And now…the top brandy and Cognac cocktails worth trying!
Here's the most classic Cognac cocktail of all time: the Sidecar! This classic cocktail hails from the early 1900's and is a relative of the classic margarita. The drink is perfectly balanced between sweet and tart, and layered and complex: warm, crisp, dry, rich, and full at the same time.
Here’s a two ingredient Cognac cocktail that tastes greater then the sum of its parts: the Stinger! This genius combination of Cognac and crème de menthe is a classic cocktail invented in 1890. Today, it’s one of the lesser known classics: but we think it needs a revival.
Got 1 minute? Then you’ve got time to mix up the French Connection! Arguably the easiest Cognac cocktail on the planet, this slow-sipper features Cognac and amaretto in a perfect pairing. Serve it over ice and you’ve got a sophisticated drink that’s far greater than the sum of its parts. The amaretto gives it an almond essence that matches the strength of the Cognac.
Here’s a bright and tangy Cognac cocktail that’s a little sassy: Between the Sheets! A spin on the classic Sidecar, it features rum and Cognac together: something that in Prohibition times was thought to be a little naughty. The rum adds nuance to this citrusy drink, and it’s a great sour cocktail that goes down easy.
Ingredients: White rum, Cognac, Cointreau, lemon juice
Love Cognac and want something new to do with it? Try the Cognac Margarita, aka the Hennessy Margarita! Pairing Cognac with aged tequila, lime and orange liqueur makes a seriously sophisticated drink. In fact, it tastes like a combination of a classic Sidecar and a margarita! Both classic drinks feature citrus, Cognac and Cointreau: which makes for a flavor-packed, nuanced sip.
Here’s a boozy Cognac cocktail that’s considered one of the greats: the Sazerac! If you love spirit-forward drinks like the Old Fashioned, this one’s for you. But instead of just whiskey, and a sugar cube this one’s got a surprise element. Absinthe gives a black licorice finish to each sip! This outlawed liquor is now back in good graces (since 2007, at least), and it’s good reason to try this famous slow sipper. It’s the official drink of New Orleans and one of the oldest cocktails there is.
If you love a Manhattan or Old Fashioned, it’s safe to say you’ll love this Cognac cocktail too: the Vieux Carre! This unique classic cocktail comes from New Orleans: the name refers to the French Quarter (and means "Old Square" in French). It’s strong and alcohol forward, made with not one but two types of bitters. The complex flavor is ideal for whiskey lovers who love to relax with a slow sipper in hand. Here’s how to make it!
Here’s a brandy cocktail that’s a quirky spin on a classic: the Wisconsin Old Fashioned! Leave it to Wisconsinites to make their own spin on the Old Fashioned: so popular that it became the State drink. Order it in a bar and it comes with lots of variations: Sweet, Sour, Press and Soda. When it comes to the garnishes…well, those are a little funky too. Here's how to make this unique drink!
Ingredients: Brandy or Cognac, sugar, Angostura bitters, lemon lime soda or soda water
Here’s a classic cocktail that will blow you away with its sweet tart flavor and sophisticated vibe: the Crusta! This timeless drink dates back to the 1860’s, but it’s every bit fun to drink today, with a big beautiful sugar crust and oversized lemon peel garnish. The flavor is perfectly balanced, with orange and cherry liqueur that balance fresh lemon and sultry Cognac (we used Hennessy).
Ingredients: Brandy or Cognac. Cointreau or triple sec, Maraschino liqueur, lemon juice, simple syrup, Angostura bitters
Here’s a brandy cocktail that will surprise you with its complex, creamy flavor: Milk Punch! This tasty drink is one of the oldest cocktails there is, featuring brandy, bourbon, milk and sugar. It’s a popular brunch drink in New Orleans and in the American South. And the concept sounds baffling until you try it. The creamy, cool milk against the spice of the brandy and the nuance of vanilla extract.
Last up in our Cognac cocktails: It might be called the Japanese Cocktail, but this drink isn’t related to Japanese cuisine or culture. It doesn’t even have Japanese whiskey! But this American classic cocktail is worth a try. Grab your favorite brandy or Cognac then sweeten it with orgeat, a tasty almond cocktail syrup. Add a few shakes of bitters and it comes out nutty with a hint of citrus and an herbal finish from the bitters.
Ingredients: Brandy or Cognac, orgeat syrup, lemon juice (optional), bitters
Types of Cognac
Cognac is a type of French brandy, a liquor made from distilling wine. There are several grades of Cognac that designate how long it’s been aged:
VS or 3 stars (2 years)
VSOP (4 years)
Napoléon (6 years)
XO (10 years)
Watch out, bottles of XO can be upwards of $200! No need to go that high-end, of course. You can use a mid-priced VS or VSOP Cognac for all of the Cognac cocktails above. Hennessy is the world’s top producer of Cognac. For more drinks with Hennessy, go to Classic Hennessy Cocktails.
Cut a notch in a lemon wedge, then run the lemon around the rim of a cocktail glass. Dip the edge of the rim into a plate of superfine sugar.
Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with a handful of ice and shake until cold.
Strain the drink into the prepared glass. Garnish with a lemon twist or orange twist.
*Superfine sugar works well for a sugar rim since it sticks to the glass better than granulated sugar. You can use granulated sugar if it’s all you have; note it can tend to fall off into the drink, making it taste a shade sweeter.