Bars celebrate cognac with special cocktails and events


Leading bars in London are celebrating cognac with a series of special cocktail lists and events throughout the autumn.

Co-ordinated by the London Cognac Bureau, it will be the first #CognacSocial, developed to encourage drinkers and diners to indulge in cognac and explore the different styles available.

Activities include a special cognac dessert and cocktail at Basement Sate, the late-night basement bar in Soho that specialises in desserts and cocktails. It is available now until the end of the year.

Byly Tran, bartender and owner of Basement Sate, said: “Cognac is a very versatile spirit. The aromas range from sweet and floral to green fruits like apples and pears, passing by vanilla and dried plums – this means it blends extremely well with a lot of different products. We are aiming for its revival by offering a cocktail and dessert pairing with this wonderful product.”

The launch of the #CognacSocial coincides with the opening of a new Whisky and Cognac Bar within the award-winning fish & seafood restaurant, Chamberlains in Leadenhall Market.

The exclusive Chamberlains Whisky and Cognac Bar is offering visitors an introduction to the spirit through a tasting flight which includes VS, VSOP and XO cognacs from single-estate cognac house ABK6, showcasing their differences.

Until October 31, Chamberlains is also offering the Sparkling Cup cocktail which combines cognac, Grand Marnier, maraschino syrup and champagne. Its dessert menu also features a Rich Chocolate Tart with XO cognac ice cream.

The Met Bar at the Como Hotel in Old Park Lane is also joining the #CognacSocial, with a cognac cocktail masterclass on the versatility of one of the original cocktail ingredients. The team is using cognac from Frapin, a leading single-estate cognac from the Grande Champagne region. Sessions cost £40 per person and can be booked by contacting the Met Bar on 020 7447 1063.

Originally featuring in jazz-age cocktails such as the French 75 and the Sidecar, cognac is making a comeback behind the bar. For making classic cocktails and interesting new serves, Byly recommends: “A touch of bitters and vermouth will make an incredible twist on the Manhattan called the Harvard; a shot of triple sec and some lemon will make a classic Sidecar.

“Cognac’s ability to shine through in any shaken or stirred drink makes it one of the most agreeable products to use in cocktails and one of the most under rated.”

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