Cognac is currently enjoying a renaissance thanks to the boom in cocktail culture as mixologists revamp classics such as the Sazerac, French 75 and Sidecar, adding their own twists with innovative new ingredients.

Francesco Betti, bar supervisor at London’s Duck & Waffle, is in the neat camp when it comes to his own consumption of Cognac, saying: “It’s an experience like no other. When you drink a younger cognac it’s refreshing, sparkling. An older style is warm and kind of hugs you.”

Joe Hall, bartender at Satan’s Whiskers in London, says “Cognac is a must have ingredient in any bar because of its versatility. When the appropriate Cognac is used, it really can have something for everyone. Everyone is aware of its sipping qualities, but its capabilities in light and refreshing drinks are relatively unexplored… everyone in the know is looking forward to Cognac’s evolving prospects!”

Innovative bartenders have a whole range of tools at their disposal to create show-stopping cocktails which might leave you stumped, but experimentation with Cognac doesn’t have to mean space-age equipment.

The BNIC has developed a new wave of perfectly balanced, beautiful cocktails which can be recreated easily at home, and show off the versatility of the spirit, and work perfectly with a range of canapés. These include new creations and twists on old favourites – from the light and zingy Sidecar, to the brooding and complex Cognac Old Fashioned.

With simple garnishes and cocktail-cabinet staples, you can impress your fellow papapreneurs who have ignored dryjanuary in favour of a more jolly January and keeping the Christmas spirit alive – there’s never been a better time to mix up a Cognac cocktail. Here are a few favourites…


Pink Life


  • 20ml VSOP Cognac
  • 10ml Raspberry Liqueur
  • 90ml Champagne
  • Fresh raspberry


Put the Cognac and the liqueur into a champagne flute. Fill with the chilled champagne. Garnish with the raspberry.




  • 40ml Cognac
  • 10ml Fresh lemon juice
  • 10ml Triple sec
  • 5-6 Ice cubes
  • Slice of orange peel


Place the ice cubes in the shaker with the Cognac, lemon juice and triple sec. Shake well. Strain into the glass using a cocktail strainer and press the orange peel over the drink.


Mint Julep


  • 60ml VSOP Cognac
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • 10ml Sugar syrup
  • 4-5 Sprigs of fresh mint
  • 4-5 Ice cubes, crushed


Lightly muddle one sprig of mint with the sugar syrup in the bottom of a highball glass. Remove and discard the mint. Fill the glass with crushed ice and add the Cognac, stirring well with a bar spoon. Garnish with the sprigs of mint.


Cognac Old Fashioned


  • 60ml Cognac
  • 4-5 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 White sugar cube
  • 1 dash Soda water
  • 4 Ice cubes
  • Twist of orange peel


Place the sugar cube in the base of an old fashioned glass. Soak with the bitters and a dash of soda water, then crush the sugar with the back of a bar spoon. Add one third of the Cognac and two ice cubes and stir well. Add another third of the Cognac and one ice cube and stir well. Repeat with the remaining Cognac and ice cube and decorate with a twist of orange peel.

Cognac Summit


  • 40ml VSOP Cognac
  • 60ml Traditional lemonade
  • 4-5 Ice cubes
  • Long strip of cucumber peel
  • Strip of lime peel
  • 4 Thin slices of fresh ginger


Place the lime and ginger slices in a glass. Add the VSOP Cognac. Lightly press the lime and ginger 2 to 3 times using a muddler. Half fill the glass with ice. Stir well for 5 seconds using a bar spoon. Add the traditional lemonade and the cucumber peel. Stir well for 5 seconds using a bar spoon.


Brandy Crusta


  • 50ml Cognac
  • 10ml Orange Curaçao
  • 2 dashes Maraschino liqueur
  • 2 dashesAngostura bitter
  • 10ml Fresh lemon juice
  • Long spiral of lemon peel


Prepare the glass by crusting the rim with fine caster sugar. To do this moisten the rim with lemon juice and dip it into a saucer filled with sugar. Put all of the ingredients into a shaker filled with ice, shake, then strain into the prepared glass. Garnish with a long spiral of lemon inside the rim of the glass