I spent National Mojito Day drinking cognac. Seems a little wrong, I know. This is week 28 in our Year of Drinking Adventurously and also this week, on July 14th, is Bastille Day. So we are off to France.
Jumping right in, the law limits Cognac to not only the best parts of the grape, but to only three different varietals. After the initial process of making the wine under stringent specifications, it is then distilled twice in a copper pot still. The final, and most important step, is aging.
If you are anything like me, you’ve seen these labels and have some idea what they stand for, but have no real idea of what they mean. What I am referring to are the designations of:
V.S. Very Special must be aged at least two years.
V.S.O.P. Very Special Old Pale is a little older, usually aged at least four years.
X.O. Extra Old… The youngest cognac to go into this blend is at least six years old and are often far older.
Per the norm, I didn’t read the book before I went shopping,and truth be told, I just went in and asked what airplane bottles they had. I came home with two different cognacs and as our author advised, the subtle differences between the two were almost lost on me. I could tell the younger had a boozier bouquet. The VSOP had a warmer, earthier finish.
I was sitting on the patio trying to wrap my head around this, when I was drawn to making a cocktail. One thing I’m really coming to discover in this adventure is that there aren’t a lot of boozes I just want to sip straight. The ones I do enjoy might surprise you, but that’s a post for another day.
According to David Wondrich of Esquire, and the Punch cocktail book, one of the best things to come from prohibition is the Sidecar cocktail. With that kind of hype, how could I not give it a whirl. I found three different recipes, and went with one from Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails. I’d probably enjoy different proportions better. It was a lovely little cocktail, but siting on the patio listening to the frogs and crickets, I really would have preferred a mojito.
Run over and see what Meg drank.
Here’s to Toasting another Tuesday! Cheers