Today is National Cognac Day! Cognac is an aged brandy distilled from wine grapes in the Cognac region of France. Our traditional view of cognac is an after-dinner sipper served neat in a bowl-shaped snifter, enjoyed by captains of industry like Samuel Nickerson or Lucius Fisher here in the Driehaus Museum Smoking Room. However, in the 19th century cognac was also a very common base for punches and cocktails! In our “Live from the Drawing Room” series, the “Cocktail Guy” Greg Shutters shows how to make two historic cognac drinks: the Stinger (https://youtu.be/Es6oAnTRYzw?t=2000) and Punch Grassot (https://youtu.be/MyQGBZ0iIVo?t=3143).
Also, check out the book “Hennessy: A Toast to the World's Preeminent Spirit” in our online store, chronicling the history of the venerable cognac distillery from its 18th century roots through its 19th century prominence to its resurgence in modern hip hop culture: https://shop.driehausmuseum.org/hennessy Happy National Cognac Day!
Featured images: 1.) Hennessy cognac magazine advertisements, c. 1930s. Jas Hennessy & Co.; 2.) Jules Chéret (French, 1836-1932), Le Punch Grassot, 1895. Lithograph on paper. The Collection of Richard H. Driehaus, Chicago.