I’m the first to admit I don’t know a lot about cognac. Sure, I love a good sidecar cocktail, and I’ll pick a snifter of Remy Martin over two fingers of scotch any day. But quiz me on the differences between VS, VSOP and XO when it comes to cognac and I’ll be lucky to get two out of three.
So it was with great curiosity that I attended a lunch at the Yellow Door Bistro last week with Alexandre Quintin, global brand ambassador for a luxury cognac from the house of Remy Martin called Louis XIII. And by luxury I mean, pretty darn expensive (e.g. about $3,000 per bottle). Packaged in a crystal Baccarat decanter, the Louis XIII is a blend of cognacs that range in age from 40 to 100 years old.
Quintin spoke about the Louis XIII with reverence, saying that its competition isn’t other cognacs, but instead luxury watches or perhaps a bottle of Petrus wine. “It’s the most sought-after spirit in the world. You need four generations of cellar masters in the house to make one blend,” he said. I immediately pictured myself drinking it with European friends on my luxury yacht whilst sailing the Mediterranean after winning the lottery:
Sadly, an entire bottle was not in the cards, so I settled for a generously-poured glass of the elixir (estimated cost: $300). Quintin prepared my palate for the Louis XIII by having me sample just a small drop. And then, the fateful first sip. Now, I could try and impress you by describing its “warm fruity notes, hint of maple, and smoky, almost tobacco-like finish,” but who am I kidding? Did I like it? Yes! Because of my new-found knowledge, it tasted way better than a Rolex. Also, because it’s cognac, I could close my eyes and picture myself on the yacht, above — definitely more memorable than a glass of fine wine.
Of course, if you don’t plan on cashing in your RRSPs in order to run out and buy a bottle of Louis XIII, there are other ways you can enjoy cognac this weekend. We started the lunch with this refreshing cocktail, a Remy Ginger, which transformed the sippable Remy Martin VSOP into a guzzle-worthy patio highball. Enjoy!
- 1-1/2 oz Remy Martin VSOP
- Ginger ale
Pour Remy Martin VSOP in a highball glass with ice and top with ginger ale.
–Recipe courtesy Select Wines & Spirits