My exploration of wine led me to branch off to Cognac. My current favorite is Courvoisier V.S.O.P. The aromas seem refined & complex, the alcohol isn't overwhelming; the flavors are again complex, nutty and buttery, but smooth and round.
So this experimentation led us to the discovery of the classic and unrated cocktail- The Sidecar. It's a simple cocktail just 3 ingredients, Cognac (or high end Brandy), orange liqueur (such as Cointreau, Grand Marnier), and lemon juice.
My ingredient recommendations- Cognac V.S.O.P, Patron Citronge (Cointreau is preferred but very expensive) and fresh squeezed lemon juice (and only fresh squeezed, I'm usually lucky enough to get them off my tree).
1 oz. Cognac
1 oz. Patron Citronge or Cointreau
1 oz. Fresh squeezed lemon juice
Combine all the ingredients in a shaker filled with ice, shake well and strain into a cocktail glass (optionally sugar the rim).
To me a Sidecar in these proportions, made with these ingredients, produces a complex drink that balances the Cognac flavors (nutty, almond, butter, smoke, vanilla) against the orange/sweet/sour/citrus of the Citron & lemon. The one ingredient that varies in the drink is the lemon, so allow for some adjustment based on the flavor profile of the lemons available to you at purchase.
I'm interested in hearing about other recipes for the Sidecar or other drinks made with Cognac.
UselessCampers blog- http://the-wine-rack.blogspot.com