Kick Back with Cognac

The many gastronomic wonders of France are glorified the world over, and the wines—well, who hasn’t waxed romantic about at least one at some point in their life? Whether you’re a scholar of food or drink, or simply an admirer, it’s always tempting to enjoy national treasures the same ways the natives do. When it comes to Cognac, though, this tends to be a trickier endeavor: more than 95% of it is exported and enjoyed outside the borders of its homeland! Whatever the reason that the drinking desires of the French largely veer away from Cognac, their efforts, which utilize ugni blanc grapes, copper pot stills, and oak aging, have certainly been a global gain. 

With a pedigree that can sometimes intimidate imbibers, it’s been a spirit more commonly seen in a lavish home library or, in this millennium, a hip-hop video, than in a starring role on a cocktail menu. But with a rich and smooth texture, a wide range of mild floral, nut, and wood flavors, and a few classic mixes to its name—Sidecar, Vieux Carré, and the original Corpse Reviver—Cognac’s versatility and potential is being re-appreciated and eagerly explored by the pros right before our eyes.

We’re keeping the creativity rolling on this sophisticated but totally approachable spirit to help you fully Kick Back with Cognac, a breezy time to shake, stir, infuse, and dally as a bon vivant to see what the fuss regarding this special French brandy is all about.

To emerge from a stretch of winter-warming offerings, in this case one must Cherchez la Femme (“look for the woman”)—the one and only Kellie Thorn! She’s got a way with brandy that’s fully on display in this bright and bubbly cooler that complements the woody and floral spirit with some traditional flavors of the season. This refreshing highball is back again, featuring accents of cardamom and a grenadine infused with tart cranberry and herbaceous juniper. Best enjoyed with a scarf and shades.

The creator of the fan-favorite, perfect-for-spring Citrus Paradisi, Kellie is a Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac–certified Cognac educator and is a beverage consultant and spirits educator with over twenty years’ hospitality experience. Her current projects include Hotel Effie in Sandestin, FL, Murphy’s in Atlanta, Little Donkey in Birmingham, Rodney Scott’s in Atlanta, and the upcoming Westside Motor Lounge, which will also be located in Atlanta.

There’s a good reason why the most popular pineapple cake is flipped and served upended: the baked state of the tropical fruit demands a position of prominence with its downright deliciousness. Ms. Franky Marshall achieves this in cocktail form right-side-up (don’t spill!) in her Date Night by matchmaking caramelized pineapple syrup and decadent date-infused Cognac with coconut water playing it cool as a quenching, much-welcomed third wheel.

Ms. Franky is an industry veteran of some of NYC’s top drinking establishments (Clover Club, Dead Rabbit, Holiday Cocktail Lounge) who’s sought after for her cocktail and MC talents as well as teachings as a certified Cognac and Pineau des Charentes educator.

Within Michael Holiday’s Spiced Berry Sipper is a collection of compatible flavor sensations, with juicy strawberry linking up with the Cognac’s fruitiness and cardamom, anise, and Angostura bitters stepping up its spiced qualities. But this old fashioned effort to bring out the best in your spirit comes with a touch of added complexity from herbal and earthy angelica root, a botanical common to the bouquet that flavors a host of liqueurs, vermouths, and gins.

Michael is a partner at 600T in Washington, D.C., where, in addition to crafting delicious and innovative cocktails, he’s implemented the community building fund-raising program Cocktails with a Conscious. He’s also the co-founder and curator of Chocolate City’s Best, a nonprofit that advocates for equity in the hospitality industry by providing mentorship, educational tools, and platforms for exposure for the Black and Brown communities.

Sign up today and settle into your favorite chair to get ready to experience the Kick Back with Cognac Box, a perfect illustration of our special brand of rousing relaxation with the great taste and tradition of French brandy setting the scene!

The Shaker & Spoon Team

*not vegan: nothing
*potential allergens: Deglet noor dates were originally packaged in the same facility as peanuts, tree nuts, soy, and milk products.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Heather Hopkins says:

    2 months in and LOVE my S&S subscription! I knew nothing of Cognac prior to this box. Now, I’m the friend group SME!
    @ Kellie… Cherchez la Femme should be a go to trying for and spring menue!


    1. Anna says:

      Couldn’t agree more! Have you tried our Citrus Paradisi? Another cocktail recipe from Kellie!


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