Food + Drinks

Cognac Cocktails: Brandy's Move to Bartender Favorite

"Bartender's Breakfast." Scroll down to check out the recipe.

Long the domain of snifter-swirling old-timers and hard-partying rappers, Cognac has been adopted by a new clique: bartenders who are using it to create fresh spins on classic cocktails. Raven & Rose in Portland, Oregon, mixes it with traditional rye in the downtown bar's take on the Vieux Carré. Sother Teague, co-owner of Amor y Amargo in New York City, suggests switching out rum for Cognac to make a potent Dark 'n' Stormy. They're thinking beyond the typical sidecar, too. Xavier Herit, a former head bartender at Manhattan's revered Daniel who opened his own West Village bar, Wallflower, created the "bartender's breakfast," a liquid dessert that's an extra-frothy take on the flip. "The foam gives it a volupté on your lips," he says. Herit recommends VS ("very special") Cognacs over well-aged ones—VSOP ("very superior old pale") and XO ("extra old") varieties can range in age from 4 to 20 years and up—but there really are no rules. "You can drink it with anything—with tonic, ginger ale, shaken, stirred," he says. "It's everywhere."

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The Recipe: "Bartender's Breakfast"

Shake a half-ounce each of Nutella and coconut milk for one minute in a cocktail mixer without ice until frothy. Then add ice, a whole egg, and an ounce each of Spanish brandy and Pierre Ferrand Cognac. Shake again (for about 15 seconds), strain, and pour. For the latte art effect, finish with a drizzle of Angostura bitters across the top.

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Also on Details.com:
The Cognac-Cocktail Comeback: New Mixology-Friendly Brands and How to Use Them
The Modern Man's Guide to Cocktails
A Change in Cocktail Land: Syrups Are the New Bitters

Photograph by Victor Prado; Prop styling by Philip Shubin. Food styling by Roscoe Betsill.
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