Ah, Les Voiles, this magical place at the shores of Lac Leman… Classy and sassy, this pop-up bar offers a pristine view of the many yachts roaming the waters and also the city of Calvin’s Who-is-Who. Here, the beautiful party crowd of Geneva gathers at sunset to enjoy after-work cocktails and receptions… under normal circumstances, that is. This year, we can only hope that our favorite beach bar is going to open at all!
Many brands embrace the concept and transform the ephemeral space in a temporarily branded location. So Hennessy!
When I received the invitation to participate in a Hennessy Summer Cocktail Mixing Class, I knew it was going to be awesome, but sadly I was away. These kinds of experiences are everything I love about the blogging lifestyle. But here, there… you simply cannot be everywhere. So I thought: whom do I know, who loves cocktails as much as I do? Instantly, I think of these two: Ana and Jessi. But of course! Something like that is right up their alley. It is great to have friends in all four corners of the Earth who share your boozy passion!
Twenty minutes and one FB-LIVE later, and the Hennessy Ginger Mojito has no more secrets for our community: we can follow the action live from Les Voiles and see how this utterly delightful summer cocktail with a twist is built.
Cocktail making is an art. Every ingredient, every gesture contributes to creating the perfect tipple. We learn how to cut a lime right and how to squish it once it is in the glass. From watching alone you can gather that this drink is delicious, a fact that the girls are eager to confirm. Replacing the rum with cognac in the traditional mojito recipe makes for a nice, refreshing twist.
History & origin of cognac cocktails
While cognac has the reputation to be very desirable and generally sipped neat – only a few know the history of cognac and cocktail mixology. The tradition goes far back to the 18th century when the first cocktail recipes emerged in America. People started to enjoy drinks mixed with cognac – like the Old Fashioned or the legendary Brandy Crusta.
Bartenders were drawn to cognac, as they believed that the cognac’s rich flavor, as well as the harmony of fruit and oak, would be a great addition to the bitters they’ve been using so far. Cognac-drinks were already mentioned in the first-ever cocktail-book that was referenced worldwide: ‘The Bon Vivant’s Companion’ by Jerry Thomas. Thomas referred to cognac as the finest brandy in the world. What has been so popular in America, took over 20 years to hit Europe, where the mixed cocktails were called American Mixed Drinks. Over time the name has adapted to the original American names.
The Cognac Crisis
Just when cognac and cocktail mixing hit its peak, an ultimate crisis emerged. In 1872, the region in France, where cognac is produced until now, was attacked by an invasive insect species. This incident destroyed more than two-thirds of the native European grape varietals and brought Cognac vineyards down from 698’000 to 119’000 acres. Hence, the production of cognac decreased and had a great effect on the selling prices.
People started replacing cognac with whiskey and bourbon. It took about 18 years until the cognac production became stable again. Due to the long scarcity of cognac, it took some time until people started sipping and mixing cocktails with cognac again – but with great pleasure ever since.
The Hennessy Story
250 years ago, Richard Hennessy founded the House of Hennessy, a brand that, after eight generations of devoted passion and remarkable craftsmanship, has become the leading cognac producer in the world. Not only is Hennessy responsible for some very important innovations, which revolutionized the entire industry, in 1817 it also created the first X.O (Extra Old), which was given as a gift to the Hennessy family and which became a reference in its own right.
Remarkable and unique craftsmanship
For more than two centuries, Hennessy cognacs have been produced with true dedication and immense passion. From the barrel choice to the grape growing, every single distillation process is monitored closely until it has reached its utmost potential. Master Blender Renaud Fillioux de Gironde and the Hennessy Tasting Committee overlook the whole process.
Their love for detail and true dedication is one of the essential reasons why Hennessy has preserved its unique style and expertise within the whole spirit market. If you are enchanted by the prospect of Cognac Cocktails and want to try mixing some of the Hennessy Summer specials yourself, follow hashtag #hennessycocktails in Social Media and visit hennessy.com/cocktails for inspiration!