Lowder Specs

An Easy List of 178 (Modern) Classics to Know – 2016 Edition



Cognac, like Scotch, is typically priced for sipping, and so it’s unlikely that your bar will have more than one variety that they cocktail with. In your well, your bar will have either a VS (younger, juicier) or a VSOP (a little older, drier, more tannic) cognac. Get to learn what your well cognac tastes like and how it acts in cocktails, as any change in tannin or acidity will change how much sugar or citrus you put into your drinks.

Because Cognac is made from wine, it is fairly full bodied and acidic compared to other spirits. This can be a real issue in stirred cocktails because, like rum, it can feel overly rich and flabby. For this reason, lots of cognac cocktails share their base with rye whiskey or another comparably spicy, aggressive spirit.

Shaken Cognac drinks used to be very popular in the 1800’s-early 1900’s, but have become a lot more rare as cognac has gotten more expensive relative to other spirits. Reading through older cocktail books, you will find a number of Cognac sours, although I will go on record saying that few are worth wasting good Cognac on. That’s not to say that Cognac sours aren’t delicious, but for one reason or another, Cognac found its way into a number of misguided cocktail recipes that would probably be better forgotten. That having been said, the Sidecar remains to be an incredibly delicious cocktail (one of my favorites!) when executed properly. My point here is that you should be cautious when pushing beyond this list and researching new recipes. If something sounds gross, it’s probably gross.

Cognac Shaken

1. Champs-elysees

a. 2 oz. Cognac

b. .75 oz. Fresh Lemon

c. .5 oz. Yellow Chartreuse

d. .25 oz. Simple Syrup (1:1)

e. 1 dash Angostura Bitters

i. Shake/Fine strain/Coupe/No garnish

2. Coffee Cocktail

a. 1.5 oz. Port

b. 1 oz. Cognac

c. .5 oz. Demerara Syrup (1:1)

d. 1 whole egg

i. Dry shake/Shake/Fine strain/Small rocks glass/Nutmeg

3. Georgia Julep

a. 2.25 oz. Cognac

b. .25 oz. Simple Syrup (1:1)

c. .25 oz. Peach Liqueur

d. Handful mint

i. Crush mint in hand/Whip all ingredients with 3 pieces ice/Strain/Julep cup/Crushed ice/Mint sprigs

Cognac Stirred

1. De La Louisiane

a. 1 oz. Cognac

b. 1 oz. Rye

c. .5 oz. Benedictine

d. 2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters

e. 1 dash Angostura Bitters

i. Short stir/Strain/Rocks glass/Large rock/Lemon twist

2. Japanese Cocktail

a. 2.5 oz. Cognac

b. .5 oz. Orgeat

c. 3 dashes Angostura Bitters

i. Stir/Strain/Nick & Nora glass/Lemon twist

3. Vieux Carre

a. 1 oz. Cognac

b. 1 oz. Rye

c. 1 oz. Punt e Mes

d. Barspoon. Benedictine

e. 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

f. 2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters

i. Stir/Strain/Rocks glass/Large rock/Lemon twist