June 4th this year is a special day in other ways, but annually this is celebrated as National Cognac Day. As you raise a glass to the Queen for her Platinum Jubilee, why not do it with the spirit celebrated for its excellence around the world. I am going to do just that – as well as honouring my very spirited grandmothers, Eileen and Ella, who both loved a brandy – with a very 21st century classic cocktail.
A Cognac Daisy is as bright and breezy as a British June day, easy to make (in about two minutes) and even easier to drink (slowly – this is a concentrated concoction). No longer just the tipple for British gents to imbibe after dinner with a cigar, Cognac has seen an exciting resurgence and trend in cocktail bars around the UK in the last few years. This cocktail is a sidecar with an upgrade and for it I would need to go to the ultimate quality cognac – I’m talking a Formula One spirit with five generations of pedigree.
Pierre Ferrand was the San Francisco World Spirits Competition Double Gold Medal Winner in 2021. The original formula dates back to 1840 but the precision, slow small batch method continues to this day. A highly powerful and complex raw spirit that matures beautifully during the ageing process, what better drink as a toast to three women who embody such qualities, all born at the beginning of the last century?
Simply mix a shot or two of Cognac with a shot of freshly squeezed lemon juice and the same amount of Yellow Chartreuse (or traditional triple sec) and add a splash of refreshing soda. Chartreuse dates back to the 1800s and, like the Daisy Cocktail itself, is floral, vegetal and rather beautiful.
This June 4th I will be sipping one from a sugar-rimmed glass remembering Eileen who loved a flutter and Ella, a party lover to the end. As well as of course toasting Queen Elizabeth II at Epsom Races and the Platinum Party at the Palace.
COGNAC -MADE IN FRANCE
Cognac is not only the jewel of French gastronomy, but 98% of it is exported to over 150 countries.
70% of it is consumed in cocktails worldwide, a figure that illustrates the great popularity of mixology. The very first Cognac-based cocktails were created in the early 19th century, and included the "Mint Julep", created around 1800 in the United States
The Cognac success story that began nearly four centuries ago continues to be passed down from generation to generation. The men and women who are passionate about Cognac are committed to promoting this unique heritage and this spirit "made in Charentes".
Cognac is also a superb region to explore. With the largest white vineyard in France, it offers a variety of distilleries and landscapes to appeal to tourists. The Cognac houses and winegrowers open their doors to visitors to share their history, under the same banner: Explore Cognac.