When making cocktails at home, it’s easy to fall into familiar patterns — like reaching for the bourbon when you’re stirring a Manhattan or grabbing gin before shaking a round of French 75s. But there’s another spirit to keep handy while you’re mixing up the classics: a quality bottle of Cognac.
Many people think of the refined spirit as a drink you should only sip neat. But the French brandy is perfect for classic cocktails, and in many cases, it was actually the original spirit of choice for bartenders. Spending many years aging in casks, Rémy Martin Cognac has the weight, body, and oaky character that allow it to star front-and-center in a cocktail, yet the delicacy — due to its grape base and lively aromas — to nuance a drink with a lighter touch.
In the U.S. in the 19th century, Cognac was the spirit of choice, for those who could afford it. Even iconically American cocktails, like the mint julep, were traditionally made with Cognac. Today, it’s still true that Cognac, particularly a stellar bottle like Rémy Martin 1738 Accord Royal, shines in the classics: everything from a sidecar to an espresso martini. Just choose your favorite and give your next cocktail night a Cognac twist.