Cognac is called a strong alcoholic beverage, which is prepared from cognac alcohol. This is obtained by double distillation of white or dry wine followed by a prolonged aging in oak barrels. In them, alcohol is enriched with tannins, acquiring a characteristic color and bouquet.
Oxidation processes occur simultaneously. And even when making a ready-made drink, the strength can be reduced with water. Who and when came up with this recipe – remains a mystery. It is said that the French winemakers transported and stored their product in oak barrels, discovering that the new tincture turned out to be successful.
Mass production of cognac began in France, and the Napoleonic army made an excellent advertisement for the drink. At the beginning of the last century, the French government announced that this cognac can be produced only in strictly specified areas of the country.
Today, this alcoholic beverage is popular all over the world, and the cost of elite varieties is estimated at tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars. True, around cognac there are many myths that create an erroneous image of a glorious liquor.
This brandy is prepared only in the French province of Cognac.
Actually, there is no such province, there is a city of Cognac in the department of Charente. Once there really was a production of cognac. But at the moment there are several productions that can boast of the creation of a real, officially recognized cognac. But they are not located in the city of Cognac. This is Grande Fine Champagne (in a drink of 100% cognac spirits from Gran Champagne), Petit Fine (spirits from Petit Champagne), Fine Champagne. All these drinks bear the brand Cognac, because they are made in France on the basis of certain grape varieties.
No one, except the French, has the right to produce cognac or call it his product.
In its time in the Soviet Union brandy was actually called any brandy, created by a similar technology. But in the late 1990s, Russia signed an agreement under which it undertook to use the brand name Cognac for domestic products. For the domestic market, you can use the Latin word in Cyrillic writing.
Armagnac and cognac are one and the same.
Armagnac does have something in common with cognac. This drink is also French, it is obtained by distillation from wine. However, the range of the initial wine material is much broader, and the distillation equipment is quite different. A distinctive feature of armagnac is that this product is not repeatedly distilled. Like cognac spirits, half-finished armagnac is aged first in new, and then in old oak barrels. Some elite varieties can be aged up to 15 years, and even up to 50. As with cognac, after aging, mixing of alcohols of different ages occurs. But in armagnac, the final fortress is obtained by adding distilled water, and brandy is not diluted.
The darker the cognac, the better.
Initially, cognac spirits are generally devoid of color, it is not wine, and not beer. A coloration is due to aging in oak barrels. Dark amber color natural alcohols simply can not be obtained with proper storage even for 7 years. Color changes, but not to this extent. Or it takes more time, or a change of drums of different degrees of firing, which not every manufacturer is capable of. So if cognac modest exposure has a rich color, then the drink is simply added caramel. The rule of production is not forbidden, but consumers trust more “dark” cognac.
Cognac should be drunk from warm glasses.
Sometimes you can see how before serving cognac glasses are preheated with steam. In fact, there is no special need for this, it is necessary simply that the container is not pre-cooled. Glasses should be initially room temperature. To drink as much as possible reveals its taste and aroma, you need a glass temperature of 20-24 degrees.And for its maintenance quite enough will suffice even warm hands. It is necessary to wrap your hands in a glass of cognac and slightly turn the container for a few minutes. This time enough drink enough to reveal your taste.
You need to warm the cognac in your hands.
As already mentioned, the warmth of our hands will pass through the glass to the drink. But is it necessary, because cognac is stored at room temperature? Why did he need too much heat? Some say that for best disclosure of the bouquet it is generally best to leave the drink open for 10 minutes. And the reason for the appearance of such a myth is not in any heating, but in the connection of another receptor for pleasure, tactile.
To better reveal the taste of cognac, the container with it should be slightly heated on a candle or a spirit lamp.
Such a spectacular serving of a drink is actually just an advertising trick that simply attracts attention. And heating will lead to volatilization of light odors and increase the smell of hot alcohol. So warm cognac will not like everyone. And again we remember the optimal temperature of the drink – 20 degrees.
Cognac can not be snacked.
You can do so, but then you will have to evaluate all the aftertaste. Cognac is then best to drink as recommended by professionals – a portion of 100 milliliters stretching into small throats for several hours.
There is such brand of cognac, “Napoleon”.
The existence of the cognac “Napoleon” is a stable myth. But having become acquainted with the classification of cognac, you can find out that the inscription on the bottle Napoleon says only about the time of aging in 8-12 years. And this word appeared on the drink thanks to the owners of the cognac house Courvoisier, Guy and George Simon. They decided to call “Napoleon” the following for the VSOP level of the quality of the drink. Given the fact that at one time House Courvoisier actually supplied cognac to Napoleon’s table, in the historical right to capture on his product the name of his august client you will not refuse.
Cognac should be bitten with lemon.
In fact, such a tradition appeared as a result of the use of Soviet cognacs. Most of them in those days were not particularly high-quality, though not expensive. It is no coincidence that the aroma of the drink was called “bug”, there was a sharp taste and an alcohol smell. As a result, to brighten up such negative effects, lemon, which interrupted with its strong taste all the flaws of the alcoholic beverage, perfectly suited. A similar habit is to snack cognac with chocolate sweets. And the truth lies in the fact that good cognac accompaniment is not required, it is itself organic. The more quality the product will be, the more saturated it will give the sensation to the person. All this does not require additional disguises. Nevertheless, there are some recommendations on the selection of cognac snacks. With salty snacks, the canapé is served with ice, with fruits and sweets – undiluted. But all these combinations are clearly not for use with elite and rare cognacs. Naturally, in refined France, no one had ever heard of leavening cognac, it was just barbarism!
Cognac is very healthy.
In fact, this myth has its own rational kernel. But one thing is true – a truly curative effect will be with the use of therapeutic doses. Abundant use of the same no healing effect will not. And the quality of “medicine” also matters. And what is the benefit? Doctors say that the drink contains tannins and tannins, which can save the effects of food poisoning. Also, cognac helps to keep vitamin C in the body. Here it is just the combination with a lemon that will protect the body against cold and flu. A teaspoon of cognac with a glass of warm water is enough for prevention. It is known that cognac helps to produce gastric juice, thereby stimulating digestion and reducing spasms in the intestines. Small doses of a noble drink have a vasodilating and antispasmodic effect.A teaspoon of cognac can reduce headache and toothache, the drink has anti-inflammatory effect due to its tannins, flavonoids and other aging products. This alcohol strengthens blood circulation, which generates vivacity, increases mental activity, increases efficiency. Especially good cognac will be combined with coffee. But there are also contraindications to the use of cognac – diabetes, hypertension, cholelithiasis. In any case, do not turn the treatment into an occasion once again to drink an alcoholic beverage.
Cognac should be drunk only from special glasses-sniffers.
These glasses were really popular, but now the fashion has changed. Recently, glasses with a slightly different shape are becoming more popular, like the “tulip”. They are taller, and they already have a neck. Such glasses can be held by the foot and enjoy the aroma through the neck. Its narrowness makes it possible to concentrate the flavor of cognac better. There are special cognac glasses, as well as non-stop glasses – they all have the right to life.