Cognac Larsen launches new blends created for bartenders

Larsen blends

Two new blends are being launched by Cognac Larsen, created specifically for today’s bartenders and inspired by cocktail heritage.

Rather than focusing on age categories, the new Summer Blend eaux-de-vie and Winter Blend Cognac place the emphasis on fruit, flavour and aromas which are brought about by light oak-ageing without lees.

Cognac Larsen, which has been making high-quality cognacs since 1926, developed the new products as a different take on cognac and eaux-de-vie de vin from the Charente region. They are debuting in the UK today at Boutique Bar Show in east London.

Larsen Summer Blend is a delicate eaux-de-vie de vin fine. Fresh and fruit-driven, it is a blend from the charentaise-style double distillation of a single-variety wine, made with Ugni Blanc grapes, produced in the “dorsale de Saintonge” region of the Charente.

Ageing for six months in small old casks enhances its fruit aromas and reduces its youthful power, while keeping intense freshness. Larsen Summer Blend is characterised by notes of pear, citrus fruits and vine flowers.

Larsen Winter Blend is a generous, intense, fruit-driven cognac which its creators refer to as “un cognac gourmand”. It is smooth and warm, like all Larsen cognacs, and marked by intense fruit flavours.

Its delicate flavours of ripe fruit – baked apple, plum and marmalade – and maturation in oak casks give it warmer notes of toast and vanilla.

Summer Blend and Winter Blend pay tribute to the Golden Age of cocktails, which was at its height in Europe, and more especially France, at the end of the 19th century.

Cognac Larsen took inspiration for Summer Blend and Winter Blend from Niels Larsen’s American Drinks, published in 1899, which lists 156 cocktail recipes.

Cognac Larsen’s managing director, Jérôme Durand, said the new Summer Blend and Winter Blend reflected the innovative spirit of the house and its heritage. “We have created an eaux-de-vie de vin fine blend and a cognac that deliberately break the mould.

“We have re-imagined them for the bar. We know that a significant percentage of cognac is drunk by consumers in cocktails and long drinks and we know that bartenders appreciate cognac for its aromas, flavours and mouthfeel.

“We have designed two totally new blends that meet these needs. The focus is not on age or age designation but aroma and flavour.”

To mark the launch of Summer Blend and Winter Blend, Larsen has developed four seasonal cocktails that marry vintage and contemporary style. See below.

The house of Larsen, part of the Finnish-based drinks group Altia since 2013, was founded by Jens Reidar Larsen, a Norwegian adventurer and cognac lover who set off to explore France and decided to set up a cognac house after visiting the south-west. His Nordic roots and spirit of adventure are reflected in the brand’s emblem of a Viking ship or drakkar.

The Immortals
20ml Larsen Winter Blend
20ml Oloroso sherry
5ml Sugar syrup
5ml Parfait d’amour
1 dash Absinthe
1 dash Bitters
Mix the ingredients and pour into a martini glass. Garnish with orange zest.

East India

30ml Larsen Winter Blend
5ml Triple sec
10ml Raspberry syrup (preferably home-made)
1 dash Maraschino Liqueur
1 dash Angostura Bitters
Mix the ingredients and pour into a martini glass. Garnish with lemon peel.

Orleans Julep

40ml Larsen Summer Blend
20ml Peach liqueur
10ml Sugar syrup
1 dash Angostura Bitters
Build the ingredients and pour into a Collins glass. Garnish with around 10 mint leaves.

Summer Summit
40ml Larsen Summer Blend
Lemon zest
Muddle the lemon zest with the Larsen Summer Blend in a Collins glass and add ice and lemonade. Garnish with a slice of fresh ginger and a strip of cucumber peel.

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