Most people are familiar with cognac and even some of the numerous cognac cocktails.
However, because many cognac brands are so expensive, a lot of people haven’t tried the drink. Luckily, not all cognac brands are over-the-top.
A bottle of Courvoisier or Hennessy, for example, is very reasonably priced and doesn’t taste bad at all.
Either way, whether you’re working with expensive cognac or a much cheaper brand, you have quite a few options when it comes to making cognac cocktails.
Some of these, such as the sidecar, French connection, or French 75, are ones you’ve probably already heard of and have maybe even tried them.
Of course, other cognac cocktails will probably be new to you, but that just means you have more excuses to try new things (and drink more cognac!).
Let’s check these out!
Cognac Cocktails & Drink Recipes
Most people have heard of the sidecar, but not everyone knows how to make it. Luckily, it’s simple.
A traditional sidecar contains cognac, orange liqueur, and lemon juice.
For this recipe, you’ll use the same ingredients, although the recipe specifically recommends Cointreau for the orange liqueur.
You may also want to add sugar to the rim and finish it off with a lemon or orange twist to make it look nice.
Ingredients: cognac, Cointreau, lemon or orange peel, sugar rim
This lovely, amber-colored drink is simply an old-fashioned with a cognac twist.
It’s lighter, a bit fruitier, and more floral-like than an old-fashioned made with bourbon or rye whiskey.
The black pepper tincture adds a touch of rich spiciness, as well.
Ingredients: cognac, creme de cocoa, black pepper tincture, brandied cherry or orange peel
3. French 75
Despite its light and bubbly appearance, the flavor of the French 75 has a wonderful depth to it.
It’s all thanks to the two- to six-year-aged VSOP cognac you’ll use as the base.
On top of that richness, there’s a bright, zesty flavor from the lemon juice, orange bitters, and sparkling wine.
Ingredients: ice, cognac, lemon juice, simple syrup, bitters, sparkling wine, lemon peel
The only thing better than a traditional Manhattan cocktail is a Manhattan made with cognac.
It takes 5 minutes to pull together, and all you’ll need is cognac, sweet red vermouth, and Angostura bitters.
Add a cherry and a lemon peel as a garnish, and you’re all set. It’s a classy, elegant drink that’s perfect for any formal (or casual) occasion.
Ingredients: cognac, sweet red vermouth, Angostura bitters, cherry, lemon peel
If you’re in the mood for a seriously stiff drink, it’s hard to beat New Orleans’ classic Sazerac.
It’s a strong, dark drink that’s perfect for a city known for voodoo and jazz.
You’ll make it with cognac, simple syrup, Peychaud’s bitters, and absinthe, and you’ll use a bright lemon peel as a garnish.
It’s strong and rich, but you’ll still get lighter floral-like notes occasionally.
Ingredients: absinthe, cognac, simple syrup, Peychaud’s bitters, lemon peel
Despite its sugary, slightly fruity taste, the Jimmie Roosevelt is another super strong drink, though you’d be hard-pressed to realize it from the flavor.
Made with cognac, a sugar cube, Angostura bitters, champagne, and Chartreuse liqueur, it smells good and tastes even better.
Ingredients: sugar cube, cognac, Angostura bitters, champagne, chartreuse liqueur
7. Mata Hari
The Mata Hari is a sweet and fruity drink with lots of bubbles and a lovely red color.
You’ll make it with cognac, chai-infused sweet vermouth, lemon juice, simple syrup, and my favorite – pomegranate juice.
It takes 5 minutes to whip up and has a light taste with a strong kick.
Ingredients: cognac, chai-infused sweet vermouth, lemon juice, pomegranate juice, simple syrup, dried organic rosebuds
If you love tea but are looking for a way to get a buzz, spiking your tea with cognac is always an option.
However, if you’re looking for something more elaborate, try this recipe instead.
You add two ounces of cognac to your tea.
But you also add a tablespoon of honey for a light sweetness, lemon juice (because lemon and tea just go together), and muddled strawberries.
It turns your regular old black tea into a sweetened, fruity spiked tea that’s perfect for any summer barbecue.
Ingredients: strawberries, lemon juice, honey, black tea, cognac
This provocatively named drink is really just a sidecar with an extra ounce of white rum. Everything else stays pretty much the same.
The rum adds a bit of spice and sweetness, but otherwise, this drink is just as bright and citrusy as always.
Ingredients: white rum, cognac, Cointreau, lemon juice, lemon peel
10. Vieux Carre
Sometimes you just want a mixed drink that tastes like a mixed drink.
In other words, you want something with alcohol that you can taste instead of hiding it behind sugar and fruit.
That’s the vieux carre to a T. You’ll make it with rye whiskey, cognac, sweet vermouth, Angostura bitters, Peychaud’s bitters, and benedictine.
And it’s strong, both in potency and alcohol flavor.
Ingredients: Benedictine, Angostura bitters, Peychaud’s bitters, rye whiskey, cognac, sweet vermouth
This bright, yellowish-orange drink is a bit citrusy and, surprisingly, somewhat nutty, as well.
That comes from the orgeat, an almond cocktail syrup with a robust flavor.
If you’re looking for something that’s sweetly tart but not overwhelmingly so, the Japanese cocktail is the mixed drink for you.
Ingredients: cognac, lime juice, orgeat syrup, aromatic bitters, lime or lemon peel
This simple drink combines cognac and amaretto with a splash of lemon juice for a kick.
It’s a fresh, palette-cleansing drink that tastes great when served after dinner.
Ingredients: cognac, amaretto, lemon or orange twists
13. The Beautiful
Here’s another quick and easy two-ingredient cognac cocktail that takes practically no time or effort to prepare.
You’ll simply combine equal parts cognac and orange liqueur for a sweet, citrus, and somewhat vanilla-flavored drink.
Ingredients: cognac, orange liqueur
First of all, this drink is gorgeous, particularly if you take the time to add the whipped cream and chocolate shavings on top.
But beyond that, it’s also absolutely delicious. You’ll make it with hot black coffee, amaretto liqueur, and cognac.
Then top it with whipped cream and almonds for a warm, earthy, nutty flavor.
If you want a more decadent dessert drink option, use chocolate shavings, cinnamon, caramel sauce, etc.
Remember, this is your drink. Make it however you like best.
Ingredients: cognac, amaretto liqueur, black coffee, whipped cream, shaved almonds
This drink is just as rich, warm, and decadent as the cafe amore cocktail, and you’ll even use most of the same ingredients.
The main difference comes in the thickened cream on top. It’s thicker and sweeter than traditional whipped cream or Cool Whip.
The recipe also calls for different garnishes (caramel sauce), but you can adjust your garnishes any way you like to suit your specific tastes.
Ingredients: thickened cream, amaretto liqueur, cognac, freshly-brewed coffee, caramel sauce
16. Vin Chaud
When you imagine cognac cocktails, you probably don’t think about mulled wine making the list.
But it does if you make it with Grand Marnier, a liqueur made from cognac, orange liqueur, and sugar.
To make this perfect-for-the-holidays mulled wine, you’ll use your favorite bottle of fruity red wine.
Then, you add the peel from a navel orange, whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, star anise, honey, and sugar.
And the Grand Marnier, of course. While you’re cooking it, the wine will make your whole house smell phenomenal, and the taste is even more impressive.
It’s full-bodied, intricately spiced, and simply delectable.
You’ll enjoy sipping it while sitting around the Christmas tree or after having dinner with your loved ones during the holiday season.
Ingredients: fruity red wine, navel orange, cloves, cinnamon sticks, anise pod, honey, white sugar, Grand Marnier
If you’re looking for a margarita that’s strong enough to knock you off your feet, the Hennessy margarita might just do the trick.
You’ll make it with tequila reposado, Hennessy cognac, Cointreau (or triple sec), and lime juice.
Stick a few lime slices on the side of your glass, and enjoy their bright green peels against the golden-yellow color of the drink.
It tastes a lot like a traditional margarita, but it’s much more potent and has a more robust alcohol flavor.
Ingredients: tequila, Hennessy cognac, Cointreau, lime juice, lime wedges
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