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There are a multitude of options for cognac cocktails, ranging from simple to elaborate. Cognac is a liqueur and is often considered an after-dinner drink. It is distilled from white wine in the Cognac region of France, and its quality is usually based on its age. Generally, the older cognacs are consumed neat, which means that no other ingredients are added to the drink. However, cognac cocktails, which contain additional ingredients, have gained popularity.
According to cognac experts, the quality of cognac is often divided into three categories: XO, which means Extra Old; VSOP, which means Very Superior Old Pale; and VS, which means Very Special. Most cognac is aged for at least two years, and VS is the youngest cognac. Many cognac experts agree that the younger cognacs are generally best for cocktails because the flavor and age of the cognac doesn't matter as much when it is mixed with other ingredients.
Cognac cocktails can be mixed with nonalcoholic beverages. One of the simplest would be cognac and water. This type of cocktail basically dilutes the taste of the cognac so that it is not as strong. Other popular nonalcoholic mixers include tonic, lemon soda or lemonade, cranberry juice, and ginger ale. These are usually served over ice and create different flavors, which are fairly simple to make.
Specialty cognac cocktails have also been developed in many varieties. These often contain other types of alcohol in addition to cognac. One example is called the Hercules, which contains cognac, amaretto, orange juice, and grenadine. Another type of cocktail that uses juices as a mixer is called the Summer Fun. It contains a banana liqueur, pineapple juice, and orange juice in addition to cognac.
The Sidecar Shooter is a cognac cocktail made in the form of a shot. It is made by mixing the ingredients over ice and then straining the liquid into a shot glass. In addition to cognac, the Sidecar Shooter contains triple sec and lemon juice. Cognac cocktails may also be made with a variety of garnishes; one example is called the Summit. The cognac is mixed with lemon-lime soda, but it also includes fresh ginger slices and a cucumber slice.
As cognac cocktails have become more popular, there are some cognac producers who make premixed cocktails. This means that one bottle contains the entire cocktail, and no additional mixers are necessary. There are many options available for people who want to try different cognac cocktails.