Cognac is a strong alcoholic beverage made from cognac alcohol. In them, alcohol is enriched with tannins, acquiring its characteristic color and bouquet.
In parallel, oxidative processes occur. Who and when invented this recipe remains a mystery. It is said that French winemakers transported and stored their product in oak barrels after discovering that the new tincture was successful.
Mass production of cognac began in France, and the Napoleonic army made an excellent advertisement for the drink. At the beginning of the last century, the French government announced that real cognac can only be produced in strictly specified areas of the country.
Today, this alcoholic drink is popular all over the world, and the cost of elite varieties is estimated at tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars. True, there are many myths around cognac that create an erroneous image of a glorious alcoholic beverage.
Real cognac is prepared only in the French province of Cognac. In fact, there is no such province, there is the city of Cognac in the Charente department. Once upon a time, the production of cognac was really developed there. But now there are several industries that can boast of creating a real, officially recognized cognac. But they are not located in the city of Cognac itself. These are Grande Fine Champagne (in a drink of 100% cognac spirits from Gran Champagne), Petit Fine (alcohols from Petit Champagne), Fine Champagne. All these drinks rightfully bear the Cognac brand, as they are made in France on the basis of certain grape varieties.
Nobody, except the French, has the right to produce cognac or call their product so. At one time in the Soviet Union, virtually any brandy created using a similar technology was called cognac. But in the late 1990s, Russia signed an agreement under which it undertakes to use the Cognac brand name for domestic products as well. For the domestic market, you can use the Latin word in the Cyrillic spelling.
Armagnac and cognac are one and the same. Armagnac really has something in common with cognac. This drink is also French, it is obtained by distillation from wine. However, the range of the original wine material is much wider, and the distillation equipment is completely different. A distinctive feature of Armagnac is that this product is not re-distilled. Like cognac spirits, semi-finished Armagnac is aged first in new and then in old oak barrels. Some elite varieties can be aged for up to 15 years, or even up to 50. Like cognac, after aging, alcohols of different ages are mixed. But in Armagnac, the final fortress is obtained by adding distilled water, and the cognac is not diluted with anything.
The darker the cognac, the better it is. Initially, cognac spirits are generally devoid of color, this is not wine, and not beer. And the coloring occurs due to aging in oak barrels. Natural alcohols simply cannot get a dark amber color if stored properly, even after 7 years. The color changes, but not to the same extent. Either it takes more time, or the change of barrels of different degrees of firing, which not every manufacturer is capable of. So if cognac of modest aging has a rich color, then caramel is simply added to the drink. The production rule does not prohibit this, and consumers trust "dark" cognac more.
Cognac should be drunk from warm glasses. Sometimes you can see how cognac glasses are preheated with steam before serving. In fact, there is no special need for this, it is just necessary that the container is not pre-cooled. Glasses should initially be at room temperature. In order for the drink to reveal its taste and aroma to the maximum, a glass temperature of 20-24 degrees is required. And to provide it, even the warmth of the hand is quite enough. It is necessary to clasp a glass of cognac with your palms and slightly rotate the container for several minutes. This time is enough for the drink to reveal its taste.
Cognac should be warmed in hands. As already mentioned, through the glass the warmth of our hands will be transferred to the drink. But is it necessary, because cognac is already stored at room temperature? Why does he need extra warmth? Some say that it is generally better to leave the drink open for 10 minutes for better flavor opening. And the reason for the appearance of such myths is not at all in some kind of heating, but in the connection of another receptor for pleasure, tactile.
To better reveal the taste of cognac, the container with it must be slightly warmed up on a candle or spirit lamp. Such a spectacular serving of a drink is actually just a publicity stunt that just grabs attention. And heating will lead to the volatilization of light aromas and an increase in the smell of hot alcohol. So not everyone will like warm cognac. And again, let's remember the optimal temperature of the drink - 20 degrees.
Cognac cannot be eaten. You can do this, but then you have to appreciate the whole aftertaste. Then it is best to drink cognac as the professionals recommend - stretching a portion of 100 milliliters into small sips for several hours.
There is such a brandy brand, "Napoleon". The existence of Napoleon cognac is a persistent myth. But after getting acquainted with the classification of cognac, you can find out that the inscription on the Napoleon bottle speaks only of the aging period of 8-12 years. And this word appeared on the drink thanks to the owners of the Courvoisier cognac house, Guy and George Simons. They decided to call "Napoleon" the next level of drink quality after VSOP. Taking into account the fact that at one time the House of Courvoisier really supplied cognac to Napoleon's table, you cannot refuse the historical right to embed the name of your august client on its product.
Cognac should be eaten with lemon. In fact, this tradition appeared as a result of the use of Soviet cognacs. Most of them in those days were not particularly high quality, although not cheap. It is no coincidence that the aroma of the drink was called "bug", there was a sharp taste and alcoholic smell. As a result, a lemon was perfect for brightening up such negative effects, which interrupted all the disadvantages of an alcoholic drink with its strong taste. A similar habit is to eat chocolate sweets on cognac. And the truth is that a good cognac does not need accompaniment, it is organic in itself. The better the product is, the richer it will give sensations to a person. All this does not require additional disguises. Nevertheless, there are some recommendations for the selection of snacks for cognac. With savory canapes, the drink is served with ice, with fruits and sweets - undiluted. But all these combinations are clearly not for use with elite and rare cognacs. Naturally, in sophisticated France, no one has ever heard of eating cognac with lemon, this is just barbarism!
Cognac is very healthy. In fact, this myth has its own rationale. But one thing is true - indeed, the therapeutic effect will be with the use of therapeutic doses. Abundant use will not have any healing effect. And the quality of the "medicine" also matters. What is the benefit? Doctors say that the drink contains tannins and tannins that can relieve the effects of food poisoning. Also, cognac helps to keep vitamin C in the body. This is where a combination with lemon will be appropriate, which will help protect the body from colds and flu. A teaspoon of cognac with a glass of warm water is enough for prevention. It is known that cognac helps the production of gastric juice, thereby stimulating digestion and reducing intestinal cramps. Small doses of the noble drink have a vasodilating and antispasmodic effect. A teaspoon of cognac can reduce headaches and toothaches, the drink, due to its tannins, flavonoids and other extract products, also has an anti-inflammatory effect. This alcohol increases blood circulation, which generates vigor, increases mental activity, and increases efficiency. Cognac will go especially well with coffee. But there are also contraindications to the use of cognac - diabetes, hypertension, cholelithiasis. In any case, you should not turn the treatment into an excuse to drink an alcoholic drink again.
Cognac should be drunk only from special sniffer glasses. These glasses were really popular, but now the fashion has changed. Recently, glasses with a slightly different shape, like a "tulip", have become increasingly popular. They are higher and they have a narrower neck. You can hold such glasses by the stem and enjoy the aroma through the neck. Its narrowness allows you to better concentrate the aroma of cognac. There are also special cognac glasses, as well as non-tipping glasses - they all have the right to life.