Now bottle store are open we can take advantage of World Cognac Day … and celebrate with a glass of Hennessy.
Each year, cognac lovers raise their glasses on June 4 … and today will be no different. For newcomers to this exceptional tipple, here are five facts you probably don’t know …
- The history of cognac dates back to the 16th century, when the Dutch arrived in France and discovered French wine. To preserve it for the journey home, they distilled it into eau-de-vie. Wine merchants began double distilling the eau-de-vie to increase its strength and save space on ships. That was the beginning of cognac.
- Cognac is named after the French town of Cognac. Early on, the region was recognised for the superiority of its product and strict regulations were introduced. A spirit can only be classified as cognac if it produced in the region according to strict criteria governing all steps in the cognac making process
- In the 18th century, the most famous Cognac houses or Maisons were formed. One of these was Hennessy, founded by Richard Hennessy in 1765 – that’s 255 years ago. Hennessy has become the world’s most loved cognac, sold in over 120 countries and first arrive in SA in 1866.
- Hennessy introduced the Very Special (V.S), Very Superior Old Pale (V.S.O.P) and Extra Old (X.O) categories we know today. In 1818, the Prince of Wales, a cognac connoisseur and the future King George IV of Great Britain, personally requested a “Very Superior Old Pale” from the House of Hennessy. The new classification V.S.O.P, created by Hennessy as a first for the industry, became a benchmark for all cognac makers as a sign of elevated quality and aging.
- Today, Hennessy is one of the iconic brands in urban culture through an association that began over 100 years ago. The brand is proud of its association with hip hop culture. Ever since first being uttered in a verse, it has featured in over 2500 songs including hits from 2Pac and Drake and local artists such as Tshego and Nasty C.
SEVEN UNEXPECTED WAYS TO ENJOY HENNESSY THIS WORLD COGNAC DAY:
Cognac is extremely versatile; it can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, with a mixer or in a cocktail. Hennessy might be made with strict rules, but there is just one rule when it comes to drinking it … drink it any way you want.
Here are some ideas:
Dark chocolate … Try pairing your cognac, especially with the fruitier notes of a V.S.O.P or X.O, with velvety dark chocolate or coffee flavoured chocolate. Add Hennessy to your chocolate fondant or a cup of hot chocolate
- Beef fillet with creamy mushroom sauce … Hennessy pairs perfectly with buttery mushroom sauce
- Ginger … The spice of the ginger ale brings out the natural spice of Hennessy V.S
- Coffee … Coffee and cognac go together beautifully, add a twist by pouring equal measures over ice cream for a Hennessy Affogato
- Citrus … A burnt citrus dessert gives off the ideal citrus notes, perfect for pairing
- Duck … The dark, rich, and fatty notes of duck, particularly Asian spiced duck, will be heightened by Hennessy V.S.O.P. The sweet and sour profile is rounded out by the maturity of a well-aged cognac
- Honey Glazed Pork belly and Hennessy VSOP will make a Sunday roast something special
This World Cognac Day, give yourself leave to play. There are no rules when it comes to cognac; Hennessy is just as enjoyable served neat, on the rocks, in a cocktail or with a mixer such as tonic And remember that you don’t need a special glass either, any glass will do so long as it contains cognac this World Cognac Day.