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Cognac is shedding its old fogey image.  Rémy Martin has created a limited edition bottle that celebrates its VSOP with a mixtape music culture of the 1980s.

A new design comes with a virtual playlist, put together by “regionally renowned” DJs.

The bottle features a QR code, which takes yo unique playlists curated by DJ Suss One from New York, DJ Meel from Los Angeles and Jamal Smallz from Chicago.


Tina Reejsinghani, vice-president at Rémy Martin Americas, said: ““As a brand with almost 300 years of history, it is in our DNA to showcase how cultures of excellence from the past have influenced the present and this latest release embraces our classic VSOP liquid combined with a pinnacle period in music excellence.”

Cognac has also gone organic.


De Fussigny , whose distillery  on the Clarente Riiver , goes back to 1814, has just introduced a Pure Organic range, which includes VS, VSOP, and XO bottlings. The new line celebrates the brand’s 20 years of producing organic brandy. Corks are compostable and the labels are made from recycled paper.

In addition to the new collection, the group began integrating its organic eaux-de-vie into its standard ranges to increase market demand and motivate winegrowers to convert to organic agricultural practices. According to the brand, just 1% of Cognac vineyards are farmed organically. to promote biodiversity, A de Fussigny is investing in revegetation and entomology through a planting project.


It recommends coconut water with “les bios”.

Largely thanks to sales doubling in China, Cognac sales have risen by 31% over the past year.  They were worth $4.1b dollars.  Hennessy, Courvoisier, Martell and Remy Martin are still the key players with 223 million bottles of Cognac shipped from France in 2021. Nigeria is the latest market.

Cognac is coming more relevant. St-Remy XO and VSOP now be made with recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate plastic.  Young drinkers are being encouraged to become cognac connoisseurs and being converted by cocktail mixes. They are being wooed over by hybrid  premium mixing cognacs.

There are some who believe that any cocktail is a waste of a good spirit and a great waste of several. These people are usually referred to as old.


Old school old boys have been brought up to  believe a cognac cocktail dilutes the pleasure of the cognac used.  Three or four-fold if it’s mixed with other ingredients or profanities. A cognac cocktail is, by definition, a contamination.

Others, who are called younger, disagree and make their artlessly layered, multi-coloured cocktails with little or no respect for the “a lot less is a lot more” school of thought.  They are philistines who probably shop on Amazon. And not from a respectable wine and spirits merchant.

Cognacs are selected. They are purchased. Not bought. Booze is bought and cognac isn’t booze.

Sadly, for many it is not yet become obvious that the classic way to ruin a cognac is to put  tawny port, Pisco, Grand Marnier, Campari, Curacao, Lillet ,  Cynar and yellow Chartreuse in it.  The facts of life when taught should include the father telling his son or the mother her daughter that vanilla sugar syrup just doesn’t do anything for a cognac. Vermouth and a cherry don’t improve a cognac. They undermine it.


A Real Ale man will know because he will have his opinions about shandy. Lemonade in Brakspeare’s?  What has the world and the hospitality industry come to?

When their taste matures and become discerning, the young will realize that there are three words a woman never wants to hear in public from a gentleman and those are “Between The Sheets”.  Similarly , the two words no man wants to hear from a lady are “Brandy Alexander”.

It’s not all about batwings and bows ties. Its about standards and good taste. And cognac doesn’t taste good if you pour crème de cassis or any full fat coagulated carbohydrates into it. Cream is for strawberries. Not cognac.

But that hasn’t stopped the leading Cognac houses making their own suggestions for cognac cocktails. St. Remy suggest a Banana Bliss with crème de Banane and 40ml of XO.

Its Signature Rose comprises 60ml of Signature, 20ml lemo, 7.5ml grenadine syrup, 7.5 hibiscus syrup and one egg white. All to be shaken hard for thirty seconds and doubled-strained into a footed Libby Embassy Georgian glass.

Tin Train features Italian bitters and amaro. So some cognacs are allowed in cocktails. The inferior ones.

Larsen , Frapin VSOP Grand Champagne and  Maxime Trijiol  must all be spared from anything that curdles. If you want rye whisky in your cognac, that’s what an American cognac like Bache Gabrielson is for. If you really need to set your cognac on fire make sure it’s an American cognac. Never light up a European cognac.

Xanthe is a liqueur made from cognac and Belgian pears. It can be splashed in Prosecco or  in a highball with lemon and lime soda, making a seasonal Super Sleigh cocktail. You aren’t being cruel to a supermarket Courvoisier if you make a sangria with it.

Inarguably – to certain supposedly refined palates, adulterating quality cognacs is sacrilege. Sidecars are scandalous. They are relatives of margaritas so genetically unacceptable. Ginger ale poisons a good cognac.  As does pretty much everything else. The person who thought of dropping a fresh egg into a cognac must have flipped.

A cognac glass should be a cognac glass. Not a landfill site.

If you really must order a Corpse Reviver  spurn  the   £21000 Remy Martin  Louis X11i and    Rumanian Brancovena XO   and opt for Eric Forget’s  H by Hine which also makes the perfect Hors de Ce Monde cocktail  with London Essence jasmine and peach.

New cocktail-forward cognacs are the perfect compromise. For the middle-aged. You can make a Benedictine-heavy Vieux Carre  with it. With a garnish  and without qualms.

The only thing you should ask for with your Remy Martin is the High Environmental Value certificate.

Martell Red Barrel VSOP is not Watney’s Red barrel. It is Martell’s Red Barrel. It’s made in France. Not in a brewery in Mortlake, west London.

But Martell  still has cocktail recipes on its websites recommended by cellar master Christopher Valtaud using some of its drinks and its new “Blue Swift” , the first spirit drink made with VSOP aged in bourbon barrels. Cordon Blue is a permissible cocktail base.

However, Maxim Trijol must not been seen anywhere near a Boston shaker And coffee beans must be kept away Baron Otard.  Coffee beans added to a good cognac is called a “Moral Collapse” , not an “Espresso Martini.”

Seignette is another modern  cocktail cognac.  made expressly to complement the classic Sazera cocktail . And  absinthe. And other hitherto crass concoctions.

The family traded in salt and cognac in la Rochelle. Its coat of arms is a swan, recalling the banks of the Charente River. The swam is a symbol of power, grace, elegance and an excellent spritz.  Revise history. Don’t spoil it.

Start with 40mls of thirty quid Seignette VS and add cremant. Bitters are ill-mannered. Seignette with champagne and lemon juice will make your flute sing even more.  Even the puritanical old  stuck-in-their- velveteen smoking jacket fogies would agree.