‘There is no wrong way’ says Dennis, Maitre de Chai (Cellar Master) at Bisquit Cognac, a leader in the legendary Cognac industry. There are actually many more ways to serve Cognac than I had initallity thought! At the latest Bisquit ‘Perfect Serve’ dinner, I had discovered that contrary to popular belief, you mustn’t warm up your glass! Why? By doing so some of the beautiful aromas found in your glass of Cognac will evaporate.

So what does Dennis, the master distiller recommend as the perfect serve? Serve it chilled! Bisquit Cognac is most enjoyed when drunk neat, especially the special ones like the VSOP and XO but it is also perfect in a Cocktail or paired with a meal.

Cognac in a cocktail

The trick for Cognac in a cocktail is to create a crisp, delicious cocktail that preserves the Bisquit Cognac aromas. My favourite is the ‘Joie de Richesse’ Cocktail – here’s the recipe. 

Joie de Richesse Cocktail

– 40ml Bisquit V.S

– 100ml fresh lemonade

– 1 slice of fresh lime peel

– 1 slice of fresh ginger

– 1 long thin slice of cucumber peel

Pairing food with Cognac

The secret here is to ensure that there is great affinity between the aromas. You should not use bland dishes or dishes with strong acidity. The food’s texture mustn’t be too fleshy, too dry, nor spongy. A dish too hot will strengthen the alcoholic sensation unlike cold dishes.

Here are some Bisquit food pairing recommendations with each of their Bisquit Cognacs, each aged and blended differently:

– With the VS Bisquit try pairing it with Iberian ham, scallops or crème brȗlee.

– With the VSOP Bisquit , caviar, duck liver, Roquefort, dark chocolate cake

– With the XO Bisquit, oysters, Shiitake mushrooms, camembert, Tarte Tatin

Bisquit is a perfect example of the ‘Art of Cognac’ the result of a long and complex process requiring a lot of time and patience. The Cellar master is often called the ‘Guardian of the temple’, the master distiller, or the key holder to Bisquit’s bank of precious ‘eaux de vie’ (twice distilled base wine) carefully aged and blended to create their unique range of Cognac. If you’re interested in finding out more about the French Cognac owned by South African company Distell, check out their website.

I’ve certainly learned a lot, and hope you will too, cheers!