Can You Mix Cognac And Whiskey

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Hennessy is something you should absolutely know about, assuming you like smooth, rich tipples. Also if you like having the appearance of incredible swagger.

The company — which reads “modern” but is in fact 253 years young — puts out a solid half of the world’s Cognac. It has Irish roots, and kept two families in business for eight and seven generations, respectively. To put that in perspective, my father once asked me to take over the family business and instead I took an improv class.

In honor of any family who can do eight generations of anything, here are a few facts about Hennessy worth knowing.

You don’t have to wait for the Kentucky Derby to drink a mint julep. To make one whenever you’re feeling it, Maker’s Mark shares this simple recipe. Master the drink with more tips from our Test Kitchen team. Ingredients: 2 parts bourbon whiskey; 1/2 part simple syrup; Fresh mint leaves; Directions: Add the mint and simple syrup to a. Jul 15, 2016 While whiskey is usually the go-to in spiked coffee drinks, Cognac’s natural flavors of honey, brown sugar, caramel, and creamy coffee make an even smoother drink. Serve this at your next brunch. These days, bartenders love to mix cocktails with cognac as the base spirit. Many bars, like Vol. 39 in Chicago’s Gray Hotel, serve cognac Old-Fashioneds in addition to whiskey-based ones, perhaps. The manufacturers of both whiskey and Cognac use casks to age the spirits.

Hennessy: Thoroughly French … by way of Ireland.

Hennessy is Cognac, which is brandy made in Cognac, France. But the brand was created by an Irishman. Richard Hennessy was born to an aristocratic family in County Cork in 1724. As was fairly common for a man of his stature, Hennessy left Ireland for continental Europe, where he fought for Louis XV’s army, founded Hennessy in 1765, and began the family legacy of getting very classy people drunk.

In case you forgot, here’s what Cognac is.

Cognac, and its older cousin Armagnac, are two glorious products of man’s eternal desire to turn anything and everything into alcohol. Both Cognac and Armagnac are grape brandies or, essentially, distilled wines with higher ABVs. Basic Hennessy is a combination of 40 distillations, which is then French-oak-barrel-aged and sipped — ideally with extreme classiness — out of a tulip-shaped snifter. The oak definitely has an impact on the brandy, but it’s subtler, often nutty or toasty, drying out richer Cognac notes like tender fruit, vanilla, and spice.

The alphabet is your guide to Hennessy.

The letters that come after the name Hennessy (V.S., X.O., V.S.O.P., etc.) are actually straightforward, useful ways to gauge a brandy’s impact on your palate — and your wallet. Fortunately for brandy drinkers, and the brandy curious, we wrote up a handy guide. But the gist of the letters is a guide to aging — “Very Old,” “Very Special,” “Extra Old,” and so forth.

We love Nas. Nas loves Hennessy.

It’s also possible Nas loves the profitable “brand ambassador” endorsement deal he made with Hennessy, which is a delightful partnership for many reasons, but also because it led to a commercial where the “Time is Illmatic” phenom does the unthinkable and makes meaningful eye contact with people on a New York City subway.

(Of course, Nas isn’t the first or only hip hop artist to sip Cognac. As a writer for VinePair reported, “the word Hennessy or Cognac is mentioned in over 1,000 songs by such famed artists as Notorious BIG, 2Pac, Kanye West, Rick Ross, Nas, Dr. Dre, and 50 Cent.”)

Regular Hennessy is an affordable luxury. Extra Special Hennessy will annihilate your debit card.

Hennessy V.S., which has notes of soft fruit, toasted nuts, and vanilla, will run you about $50 to $55. But if you’ve got the cash, go for the 250-year anniversary bottle named after founder Richard Hennessy. It’s a mix of roughly 100 eaux de vie, resulting in an incredibly delicate bouquet of spice, oak, and tender fruit, and, oh yes, retails anywhere from $3999.99 to $4999.99. Also known as the cost of about 20 minutes of Ivy League college. Sip slowly.

Can You Mix Cognac And Whiskey Cocktail

Sip very slowly.

Hennessy is a mega-brand, with control of half of the world’s Cognac production. But last year the company actually had to hold back product from store shelves because demand for the stuff is rapidly, thirstily outpacing supply.

There’s fancy, and then there’s Henny Fancy.

Hennessy isn’t content being just a little fancy. It decided to partner with both Moët & Chandon and Louis Vuitton, apparently creating the world’s fanciest trifecta. Which is to say, if you can afford it, we suggest double-fisting Hennessy and Champagne while wearing exactly this.

It’s Henny’s fault. All of it.

Not at all a historic fact, but important to know if and when legal or personal issues crop up: Jamie Foxx famously suggested we all blame our bad decisions on Hennessy. As in that “My Little Pony” tattoo you got “ironically” last weekend, not because you deeply miss the innocence and magic of your childhood.

The guy behind the iconic Obama ‘Hope’ poster designed a Hennessy bottle.

Street artist and social activist Shepard Fairey designed the bottle for a bottle of “Very Special,” (V.S., per above) Hennessy as part of its Limited Edition bottle series. Art and culture seem to matter a lot to Hennessy. The brand recently partnered with artist and rapper A$AP FERG and Chinese new media artist Yang Yongliang.


Intro: The Old-Fashioned Cognac Vs Bourbon

Although many people prefer to drink whiskey straight or on the rocks, others enjoy mixing their spirits to create various cocktails. No matter what kind of spirit you’ve chosen, mixing up a fine cocktail can be a real treat.

And in the world of cocktails, not many have stood the test of time quite like the “Old-Fashioned.” The name fits the bill nicely, and this cocktail dates all the way back to the early 1800s. In fact, the Old-Fashioned was probably around before the word “cocktail” was even popularized! In 1806, an editor of a New York newspaper was asked to describe what a “cocktail” actually was. This was the first-ever mention of the word “cocktail” in print. The editor describes a few basic ingredients, and as we look back it’s easy to see that what he was really describing was an Old-Fashioned.

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The Ingredients of the Old-Fashioned

The ingredients of the Old-Fashioned haven’t changed over hundreds of years – even if this humble cocktail was the spark that inspired many more liquor-based creations ever since. As we’re sure many of you already know, the ingredients of an Old-Fashioned are:

  • 45 mL of Rye Whiskey or Bourbon
  • 2 Dashes of Angostura Bitters
  • 1 Cube of Sugar
  • A touch of plain water

Simple… But more than enough for most whiskey lovers out there. After all, if you’re drinking a fine whiskey, there’s no need to hide the taste with all kinds of unnecessary ingredients. If you were paying attention, you would have noticed that there are two possible liquors you can use to make a “proper” Old-Fashioned: Rye Whiskey or Bourbon. This gives you a little bit of freedom when you’re mixing your drink, but back in the day, people were using pretty much any liquor they could get their hands on.

The History of the Old-Fashioned

Before the cocktail was popularized and made official, you could use rum, gin, brandy, and other similar liquors to make your Old-Fashioned. As time went on and the different cocktail variations started to branch out a little, people once again returned to the “basics” of the Old-Fashioned and decided that only whiskey should be used to make this time-honored drink.

Although the drink has its roots back in the early 1800s, the first ever mention of an Old-Fashioned actually comes from around 1880. That being said, a prominent Gentleman’s club claims to have invented the drink in honor of a well-known Colonel and Bourbon distiller who brought the Old-Fashioned to New York City back in the late 1800s. Even though the drink was probably being made for decades before it was officially recognized, we can safely say that it became common knowledge all over America by 1881.

What Type of Liquor Should You Use To Make Your Old-Fashioned?

As you can see, there are a few options if you want to make this drink at home. Brandy, Whiskey, Bourbon, and Cognac are all acceptable liquors for this well-known cocktail.

So which one should you use? In the end, it’s all about taste… That being said, there are a few qualities of each liquor you might want to consider.


Brandy is made from fermented grapes, and it has its origin in Europe. The aging process typically lasts from 2 to 3 years, and the liquor is stored in wooden barrels. In some cases, caramel is added to the liquor during or after the aging process.

So can you use Brandy for an Old-Fashioned? Of course! In fact, it’s a traditional cocktail over in Wisconsin, where the drink is sometimes known as the “Wisconsin Old-Fashioned.” The taste of brandy varies greatly depending on what type of fruit has been fermented to create the liquor. Generally, brandy is sweeter and more fruity compared to whiskey.


Cognac is a type of brandy, but it’s very special and very much its own flavor. Cognac must be made from Ugni Blanc grapes grown in the Cognac region of France, and is subject to strict examinations to ensure it’s the “real deal.” Because Cognac is more exclusive and rare, it’s typically more expensive.

The good news is that Cognac is a very versatile liquor for mixing, and you can certainly use it to create an Old-Fashioned. Cognac tastes very similar to Brandy, although you can taste a hint of bitterness or even spiciness.

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As we’re sure all of you know, it is made from fermented grains. Wheat, Rye, Barley, and even corn are all acceptable grains to use to make your whiskey. Aged in wooden barrels, you can find people distilling whiskey all over the world.

Whiskey is the traditional liquor to use for an Old-Fashioned. Even though Brandy can taste quite similar to whiskey, it’s important to remember that they come from completely different fermented bases, and the taste of the grain can be quite different compared to that of fruit once fermented.


Can You Mix Cognac And Whiskey 1.75

It is a type of whiskey. Specifically, Bourbon is made in the United States from fermented corn. Most of the time, Bourbon comes from Kentucky.

You can definitely use Bourbon to make your Old-Fashioned, and some connoisseurs say that using this liquor results in a mellower, “rounder” taste.

So… Which Liquor Should I Use to Make My Old-Fashioned?

As you can see, there are many options for making your Old-Fashioned. We’ve only mentioned four very broad types of liquor, and even these four options can make it hard to decide.

We haven’t even talked about the different brands of Brandy, Whiskey, Cognac and Bourbon you might want to try when making your Old-Fashioned! Try it out for yourself, and you’ll discover that an Old-Fashioned can taste very different even if you’re using two different brands of Cognac!

Difference Between Whiskey And Cognac

In the end, it all comes down to personal taste. So don’t be afraid to experiment! This cocktail has been around for over 200 years, and it’s definitely not going anywhere. So take your time, pick out some of your favorite spirits, and find out for yourself what makes for the perfect Old-Fashioned!

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