Pierre Ferrand 1840 Formula Original Cognac

Pierre Ferrand Cognac

Today, Cognac conjures up images of venerable old spirits being imbibed by a roaring fire or sipped slowly after dinner – not a thing to be rushed or mixed. This however, is a relatively new concept.

In days gone by, Cognac used to be a regular feature of the bartender’s arsenal and the basis for some of the most famous cocktails of the 19th Century. Pioneers such as Jerry Thomas (who wrote the first bartender’s guide) and Leo Engel (the man who brought American style bartending to England) were renowned for their Cognac-based sours, punches and daisies. Few people know that the Mint Julep, a drink associated with Bourbon today, was originally made with Cognac.

Now these blending Cognacs were not the long-aged, expensive VSOPs or XOs that we are familiar with today. Instead the favoured style was known as 3 Star; a fruity, lively and affordable spirit with a bigger alcoholic punch than a VS, its closest modern comparison.

Intrigued? So were the team at Cognac Pierre Ferrand, and with a bit of help from drinks historian David Wondrich and an amazingly well-preserved bottle of 1840 Pinet-Castilon 3 Star, they set about creating a 21st Century mixing Cognac.

The result is the Pierre Ferrand 1840 Original Cognac, a fresh, floral spirit with enough fruit to shine in a mixed drink and enough dark, tannic oomph to ensure it doesn’t become overwhelmed in a cocktail, punch or Julep. Bottled at 45% abv (rather than the usual 40% for a VS Cognac) it is particularly suited to the spirit-forward styles of cocktails so beloved of the prohibition era.

Original Pierre Ferrand Cognac Julep by David Wondrich

- In a highball glass, stir 2 tps fine sugar with 15 ml water until dissolved
- Add 5 or 6 mint leaves (from the bottom of the sprig),  press very lightly with a muddler
- Add 45 ml Pierre Ferrand 1840 Original Formula and fill w/crushed or finely cracked ice
- Swirl with a barspoon until the outside of the glass frosts.
- Add more crushed ice and another 30 ml Pierre Ferrand 1840 Original Formula
- Stir again to frost the glass.
- Garnish with 3 sprigs of minth

Optional (but highly recommended): before inserting the mint and straw float 15 ml Plantation Vintage 2000 Jamaican Rum on top by gently pouring it from a jigger over the back of a barspoon.


19th September 2012

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