Monday, March 5, 2018

Martell Cognac: A symphony for the senses

Cognac tends to be typified as something taken neat or on the rocks, something that doesn’t play well with other flavors- and therefore only taken as an endnote to a meal. 

What if we told you that this kind of thinking is very wrong indeed?

Complexity of taste 
Here’s the thing: distinguished and refined does not automatically mean singularity and puritanical. Cognac is an exceptional spirit, known for its elegant, balanced, and refined taste. It has long been the liquor of choice of those with discerning palates. 

However, outside of those who are passionate about it, little about cognac is common knowledge.  

All cognac begins life as grapes, which will eventually become brandy. Not all brandy can be made into cognac, however. It must be a specific type of brandy produced exclusively in the region of Cognac in Western France, aged for at least two years in French oak barrels, and have an alcohol content of 40 percent.  

Martell is one of the oldest and most established cognac houses in France, having been producing premium cognacs since 1715.  Founded by Jean Martell, the brand became renowned for its superior cognac in the 20th century and patronized by royals such King George V, Prince Rainer and Grace Kelly. Today, Martell’s incomparable line of cognacs and spirits continue to capture the hearts and palates of those who prefer fine drinks. 

Martell cognacs contain fine brandies dubbed eaux-de-vie, literally translating into “waters of life”. Over the course of three centuries of utter dedication to perfecting the process, Martell has developed its own unique distillation method of these clear wines; a trade secret kept closely guarded and is at the heart of creating their cognac. 

This elegant eaux-de-vie originated from the Borderies, the most exclusive terroir in the region. These are aged in fine-grain oak barrels, and during the ageing process, these elegant liquors develop a wonderful aromatic harmony, tinged with candied fruit and sweet spicy notes, Martell’s distinct signature style.
Intriguing blends
Despite its complexity, cognac does exceptionally well in cocktails too, specifically younger cognacs like the Martell VSOP. You only need to know how to properly balance its heady notes with complementary flavors. 

To demonstrate our point, we have included a list of some expertly prepared recipes for you try at home. Go on… experience the sophistication that comes from fine liquor and enjoy how it tickles your palate with unexpected delights.

Cognac Cocktail Recipes by Martell®

This cocktail was invented in France, likely at the Carlton Hotel in Cannes (French Riviera). It became an instant hit in London. In 1922, Robert Vermeire from the Embassy Club published the first recipe in Cocktails - How to Mix Them.

45 ml Martell VSOP
20 ml triple sec
15 ml lemon juice
Orange peel

Pour all ingredients into the cocktail shaker. Shake well until the metal gets frosted. Strain into a coupe glass. Twist an orange peel over the drink and discard.

Mint Julep
A Julep is an ancient medicinal solution that was used in France in the 1600s. In 1784, it became a proper drink in Virginia, mainly consumed by sugar plantations workers. The first recipe of a 'Mint Julep' with brandy appears in 1833 in Transatlantic Sketches, by Captain J.E. Alexander. In 1862, the master Jerry Thomas indicates to use Cognac for the Mint Julep in How to Mix Drinks. The Mint Julep has since then become a favorite summer American drink.


50 ml Martell VSOP
10-12 fresh mint leaves
10 ml sugar syrup

Press the mint leaves in a julep cup with a flat end barspoon or a muddler. Add Martell and sugar syrup.

Fill with crushed ice. Stir well until the cup is well frosted. Garnish with a mint bouquet.

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