Art of Enjoying Cocktails
What Exactly Is Cognac?
Sipping a rich, caramel-colored cognac or brandy cocktail is always a classy way to end the night. And before you begin to wonder if cognac and brandy are the same, the answer is yes…and no.
Similar to how all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares, all cognac is brandy, but not all brandy can get the distinguished label of cognac.
Brandy is the umbrella term for spirits distilled from wine. Cognac, on the other hand, is a French Brandy, made in the Charente region of France. Like tequila, bourbon or champagne, the coveted label is location specific. The spirit needs to be made in the Cognac region, in one of six key areas called ‘crus,’ to be classified as cognac. It also must adhere to strict guidelines and a regulated process to be considered a cognac, rather than brandy.
Snagged a bottle of the good stuff lately? You may have noticed letters on the label that seem like code. That code is there to help you know how long the bottle has been aged.
VS: Very Special. This label means the bottle has been aged at least 2 years
VSOP: Very Superior Old Pale. The bottle has been aged at least 4 years
XO: Extra Old. Bottles with this label have been aged at least 6 years.
End your evening on a sophisticated note with one of these Cognac Cocktails: