In these cold and grey winter months, we sometimes need some help to bring out our dormant Christmas spirit. And what better way than with another kind of “spirit”? We at Swiss Style have explored the different ways to combine sugar and spice and everything nice with one of the world’s best cognacs: Hennessy.
Marc Boissonnet, ambassador of the brand, is passionate whilst distilling his advice on the best ways to enjoy Hennessy’s libations. His suggestions are child’s play to prepare – although best kept at arm’s-length from our younger readers – and rightly deserve to be on the carte of many a reputable bar.
Hennessy “Spiced Up”
Hennessy VS is both strong and delicate. Its liveliness and versatility stem from a unique blend of over 40 “eaux de vie” selected from the best growing areas of the Cognac region. A great way to enjoy this classic product during the Christmas season is with ginger. Hennessy VS has the necessary strength to resist the overpowering flavour of ginger. At the same time, the delicate taste of the drink is enhanced through combination with the ginger root.
A blend of over 60 “eaux de vie”, aged in French oak casks, Hennessy Fine de Cognac is subtler than VS. Given its more delicate nature, Fine de Cognac should be enjoyed either neat, “on the rocks” or in a light fruity cocktail. In these cold festive times, freshly squeezed orange juice and brown sugar are the ideal Fine de Cognac companions. The fresh juice underlines the delicate floral taste of the cognac. This cocktail highlights the beauty of simplicity. Elaborate recipes and infinite ingredients are no match for the combination of just the right few elements.
Hennessy XO, Richard Hennessy and Hennessy Paradis are all examples of cognacs that combine over 100 different “eaux de vie”. Thus their compositions are more complex than the VS or Fine de Cognac. In the case of XO, a cube of ice suffices to release its subtle yet powerful flavours and aroma, whereas the Richard Hennessy and the Paradis should be enjoyed neat.
Chocolate is a good companion for these unique cognacs. The mature and intense flavours of both the Richard Hennessy as well as the XO are enhanced by bitter dark chocolate, whereas the Paradis, with its silky sensuality, calls for lighter, sweeter chocolate.
Yet, at the end of the day, there is only one way to truly appreciate any fine Hennessy product, be it winter, summer, autumn or spring – and that is with friends.
Article by Adam Lockstein