Crystal snifters. Wintery chill.
However…cognac can be savored amid summer breezes too.
And of course, the savvy to discern classic label marks. A VS from a VSOP or XO.
A three-star VS marker requires only two years of aging. While four-and-a-half years aging is a must for any VSOP “very superior old pale“.
XO stands for “extra old” and requires minimums of six years aged.
The Menu Shoppe has it covered…classic finds and twists…for trending menus.
Enjoy fresh seasonal twists.
Apricots in Cognac Caramel Sauce
1/4 cup Cognac
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Cook sugar in a dry 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, undisturbed, until it begins to melt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until sugar is melted into a deep golden caramel, 8 to 10 minutes. Carefully add water, then add Cognac and lemon juice (caramel will harden and steam vigorously) and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until caramel is dissolved. Stir in apricots and simmer, stirring occasionally, until apricots are tender but still hold their shape, about 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Or seasonal quaffs.
6 large ripe strawberries, hulled
3 ounces Cognac
1 ounce Grand Marnier
Reserve 2 slices of kiwi for garnish. Combine the remaining kiwis, the strawberries, ice cubes and Cognac in a blender. Whir at high speed until smooth. Pour into 2 martini glasses.
Drizzle half of the Grand Marnier over each drink and garnish each with a slice of kiwi.
…and sweetness just in time for Triple Crown Belmont festivities…
The New York Sour
or Hennessy Black
¾ oz. fresh orange juice
¾ oz. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. superfine sugar
½ oz. dry red wine
Shake cognac, juices, and sugar in a cocktail shaker filled with ice until chilled, about 15 seconds. Strain into a chilled champagne coupe. Gently pour wine over the back of a spoon set on the surface of the liquid so that the wine floats at the top of the glass.
Or special Punch for those special summery occasions.
Master the art of creative ice block
1 1⁄2 cups sweet white wine, preferably sauternes
1⁄2 cup sugar
6 cups chilled water
Trim with nutmeg ( optional )
Using a peeler, peel lemons, taking off as little white pith as possible. Transfer peels to a heavy bowl; reserve lemons. Add sugar; use a muddler or a wooden spoon to vigorously crush sugar and peels together until the sugar turns faintly yellow and slushy.
*review Mastering Muddling.
Juice the reserved lemons and add the juice to the bowl along with the peels. Stir until the sugar has dissolved completely. Set a fine-mesh sieve over a punch bowl; strain the lemon and sugar mixture into the punch bowl; discard solids. Stir in the wine and the brandy. Chill. To serve, stir in water and place a large block of ice in the bowl.
* review Holidays on Ice.
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