The Bottle
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Cognac:
 

History:

Cognac is named after a town in France. It is a variety of Brandy. It is produced in wine growing areas in France.
For a brandy to be called a Cognac, its production must meet legal requirements. It needs to be made from specific grapes.
It must also be 2x distilled in copper pot stills, and ages for at minimum for 2 years in French oak barrels.
Aging in berries is the same as with whiskies and wine. Most cognacs are aged much longer then the minimum legal requirement.
Cognac is made from white wine that is very dry and acidic.
Production: The grapes are pressed, then left to ferment for 2-3 weeks. Wild yeasts convert the sugar into alcohol. The wine is now 7-8% ABV (Alcohol by volume).
The distillation happens in traditionally shaped copper stills, with legal size and design regulations. After the 2 distillations the new colorless spirit is 70% ABV (Alcohol by volume).
Next the liqueur is aged in oak casks for 2 years minimum. The alcohol and water evaporates at about 3% per year, leaving about a 40% drop in alcohol content.
The cognac is then transferred into large glass carboys and stored for blending.
Quality grades for Cognac:
V.S. (Very special) youngest brandy stored for at least 2 years in cask.
V.S.O.P. (Very superior old pale) youngest brandy stored for at least 4 years in cask.
XO (Extra Old) youngest brandy stored for at least 6 years. (may change to 10 years in 2016)
Hors D'age (beyond age) same as XO

Recipes:

Baby Doll recipe: 2 oz Courvoisier cognac, 1 1/2 oz Grand Marnier orange liqueur, juice of 1/2 lemons, ice cubes, sugar.
Stir liquors and juice over ice gently. Sugar rim of chilled cocktail glass and strain.

Black Green Lantern recipe: 1 oz Courvoisier cognac, 2 oz Hpnotiq liqueur, 2 oz Midori melon liqueur.
5 ice cubes in a Coupe glass first. Pour Courvoisier(1oz) then Hypnotiq (2oz) then Midori(melon).
Stir drink do not shake. And serve.

International Affair recipe: 3 oz Alize liqueur, 1 1/2 oz Courvoisier cognac, 1 1/2 oz Damiana herbal liqueur.
Shake ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into glass.

Napoleon's Mexican Winter recipe: 1 1/2 oz Courvoisier cognac, 1 1/2 oz Kahlua coffee liqueur, 2 oz light cream.
Pour the Kahlua coffee liqueur into a mug, followed by the cream, and then the Courvoisier, and stir them together. Microwave on high for about 30 seconds, and serve.



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