France’s Cognac region is worth a visit to inhale the perfume of the generations-old warehouses where barrels age and to stroll along the Charente river. In lieu of a plane ticket, there’s always a bottle of Cognac. Pierre Ferrand 1840 Original Formula Cognac ($45, 45% abv) is intended for mixing into punches and cocktails, so it’s stronger than most. But its higher proof translates into robust orange peel and stone fruit, layered with lingering vanilla. For sipping, try the Reserve bottling ($65) or the stellar Selection des Anges ($145).
Courtesy Arthur Combe; adapted from Experimental Cocktail Club
This twist on the Vieux Carré was developed for the once-beloved and former Curio Parlor in Paris. Compared to the New Orleans original, this version features all European spirits.
- 1½ ounces Cognac
- ½ ounce Dolin Rouge Vermouth
- ½ ounce Aperol
- 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
- 2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
- 2 dashes absinthe
- 1 piece of lemon peel
In a mixing glass filled with ice, combine all ingredients except lemon peel. Stir well, and strain into a chilled vintage martini or small coupe glass. Twist the lemon peel over the cocktail to release the oils, then discard it.