World Cognac Day: What to eat when you drink cognac
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Today is World Cognac Day!
Cognac is a brandy made from white wine grapes. The grapes are made into wine, then distilled into a delicious grape spirit known as eau de vie, and then aged to make cognac.
Lauded for its taste and traditions, cognac hails from designated grape-growing regions in Cognac, France.
First mentioned in 1617, it’s a spirit with history, made with mastery.
In celebration of the day, the team at Hennessy have put together a few tips to find the right choice of cognac to toast with this weekend as well as the various pairing options or ways to enjoy their cognac.
Brand manager of Hennessy South Africa, Khomotso Ledwaba says this World Cognac Day, give yourself leave to play.
“There are no rules when it comes to cognac; Hennessy is just as enjoyable served neat, on the rocks, in a cocktail or with a mixer such as tonic, and remember that you don’t need a special glass either, any glass will do so long as it contains cognac this World Cognac Day,” says Ledwaba.
If you’re feeling like royalty he says Hennessy VSOP Privilège may be the one for you.
Created on the request of a future king, the cognac is a Very Superior Old Pale indeed – smooth, rounded, and finely balanced, expressing 200 years of Hennessy’s know-how.
Perfect for an after-work drink on ice or enjoyed in a cocktail.
And if you’re seeking to celebrate a special moment with your inner circle, Ledwaba suggests you consider Hennessy XO.
The original XO was created as a blend reserved for the closest friends and family of Hennessy to enjoy at the Maison in France.
As a result, it is a perfect option to toast business and personal success or to be given as a celebratory gift.
Below he shares seven unexpected ways to enjoy it.
- Dark chocolate: Try pairing your cognac, especially with the fruitier notes of a VSOP or X.O, with dark chocolate. Add Hennessy to your chocolate fondant or a cup of hot chocolate.
- Beef fillet with creamy mushroom sauce: Hennessy pairs perfectly with buttery mushroom sauce.
- Ginger: The spice of the ginger ale brings out the natural spice of Hennessy VS.
- Coffee: Coffee and cognac go together beautifully, add a twist by pouring equal measures over ice cream for a Hennessy Affogato.
- Citrus: A burnt citrus dessert gives off the ideal citrus notes, perfect for pairing.
- Duck: The dark, rich, and fatty notes of duck, particularly Asian spiced duck, will be heightened by Hennessy VSOP. The sweet and sour profile is rounded out by the maturity of a well-aged cognac.
- Honey Glazed Pork belly and Hennessy VSOP will make a Sunday roast something special.
Also, leading to this day, Bisquit & Dubouché Cognac introduced their new sleek look and feel of the brand at a food-pairing dinner at Dukkah restaurant, which brought cognac lovers together for an intimate taste adventure.
The new-look is an ode to Bisquit & Dubouché founder, pioneer, and innovator Alexandre Bisquit and his son-in-law, a creative and bohemian world traveller, Adrien Dubouché.
Each starter was created to complement the floral and fruity flavours of the radiant gold VS, Bisquit & Dubouché’s youngest offering, slowly matured in French oak barrels for three years.
Plated was the delectable flavours of sugar baby, feta, brinjal, and mint; a prawn avocado “ritz”; a Jerk Barbadian chicken, featuring pineapple, chorizo, and chilli; or fresh salt and pepper calamari, served with Asian slaw, ginger, and lemongrass. Each dish was perfectly paired with the soft, fresh flavour of the VS (Very Special).
The starters were followed by the VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale) with its warm amber colour, a testament to the four years spent slowly maturing in French oak barrels.
Five plates were put forward to bring out the delicate notes of honeysuckle, citrus, and mango found in the cognac: a seared escalope of salmon served with baby potatoes, cucumber, dill, and mustard; the glazed belly of pork teriyaki on stir-fried noodles, with honey soy and coriander; char-grilled fillet of beef, with caramelised button onions and merlot jus; truffled wild mushroom risotto, served with baby spinach and parmesan, and the house special, Dukkah chicken.
And last, the rich, full-bodied and stunningly smooth XO (Extra Old) was the perfect accompaniment to four mouth-watering desserts.
On offer was a Kentucky chocolate fondant with bourbon anglaise; lemon posset, biscotti, and pomegranate; English Bakewell tart served with vanilla ice; warm twice-baked mild sheep’s milk soufflé accompanied by relish.
The delicate and creamy flavours complemented the aromatic notes of plum, mocha, cedarwood, and liquorice found in the deep, coppery amber cognac.