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Brandy Drinks

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Dale, I'm a collector of different types of brandies (and all sorts of fine liquors including aged rum) and though I do tend to enjoy most of these neat, I'd like to find some interesting uses for these.

Other than variations on the classic Stinger, do you have any favorite cocktail using VSOP or better Cognac/Armagnac? Spanish Brandy de Jerez? Calvados?

Jason Perlow, Co-Founder eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

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Hi Jason,

You’re in luck! One of the best recipes I have come up with in all the years of original recipes is my Millennium Cocktail.

I was commissioned to create the recipe by the Courvoisier Cognac people for their millennium bottling. Here is the recipe and the story from the book:

v MILLENNIUM COCKTAIL* (a.k.a. East India Cocktail)

I was commissioned to create this cocktail with the Millennium bottling from Courvoisier and it turned out better than I ever expected, but now I guess I need to change the name. The cocktail is too good to be relegated to the trash heap of millennium merchandise. It is one of my best.

Since writing these words I have acquired an out of print cocktail book called the Roving Bartender by Bill Kelly 1948, and to my surprise there was a cocktail called the East India Cocktail with Brandy, Curacao, Pineapple and Bitters. I don’t know if it was Bill’s or if it pre-dates his book, but 1948 is my birth year so all bodes well. My additions of orange oil and nutmeg changed the flavor profile of the drink sufficiently that I feel I have a new drink.

1 ½ oz. Courvoisier Millennium Cognac

1 ½ oz. Pineapple Juice

1 oz. Orange Curacao

1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a twist of orange and dust with nutmeg.

Also Jason I created a drink for the Olympics in Barcelona called the Barcelona with Spanish Brandy:


I created this for the James Beard House in New York City, during the Barcelona Olympics.

¾ oz. Spanish Brandy

¾ oz. Dry Sack Sherry

¾ oz. Cointreau

¾ oz. Orange Juice

¾ oz. Heavy Cream

1 oz. simple syrup

Freeze in the blender with ¾ cup of ice. Serve in a London Dock or Sherry style glass. Garnish with a light dusting of cinnamon. NOTE: the drink works just as well as a shaken drink if you don’t have a blender.

Finally there is a classic drink made in Gascony with Armagnac called :


½ tsp. Armagnac

½ tsp. Grand Marnier

3 tsp. Orange Juice

½ tsp. simple syrup

3 oz. chilled Champagne

Orange peel, cut into thin strips.

Chill first four ingredients in a mixing glass and strain into a flute. Top with Champagne and add strips of orange peel so they extend the length of the glass.



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