A visitor from holidays past
“Making great cognac is easy. All you need is a great-grandfather and a father who have dedicated their lives to it.” – Jean-Paul Camus of House of Camus
SARA ESSEX PHOTOGRAPH
Imagine you’re making a fine product, a “luxury good” in mercantile terms, which you won’t see to the end of the process – and maybe your teenage child won’t see the final effort either.
Great cognacs are produced in dank, dark, laden-with-mold warehouses in the west of France, where only time has any meaning. It takes 60 or even 75 years for the distilled wine to make its way to a beverage of distinction, and in the end the quantity-result is only 15 percent of the liquid that began the journey. The wine lost to condensation is romantically known as The Angels’ Share, a term for accepted product loss that is unique to cognac.
Cognac isn’t for those who are hurried or even harassed. It is liquid silk. Its nutty, fruity, flowery aromas and flavors greet the fortunate consumer with a wine possessing individual elegance, grace and style. Great cognacs invoke introspection and reflection.
The holiday season and the associated celebrations are the perfect moment to share something very special with those you love. Cognacs are uniquely suited to defining history and predicting hope for the future. They are emblems of bygone eras enjoyed in the present tense.
It is a busy season, so keep it simple. Serve cognac by itself, room temperature, with no additives.
1 ounce cognac, VSOP quality
1 ounce Grand Marnier® orange liqueur
Combine ingredients in snifter. Serve.