15 Best Cognac Cocktails

Karen Frazier
Assorted bottles of liquor

Cocktails with cognac have a warmth and depth that comes from some of France's best brandy. Aromatic, flavorful cognac is a delicious sipper by itself, but it also lends itself well to mixed drinks. In the following cognac drinks and recipes, the French brandy adds complexity and warmth.

1. Orange Cardamom Cognac Old Fashioned Cocktail

If you enjoy a traditional old fashioned cocktail, then you'll love this twist on a classic. Cardamom-flavored bitters add a hint of floral and spice, while the orange peel brings a lovely citrus flavor and aroma to the cognac cocktail.

Old Fashioned Cocktail

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Place the sugar, bitters, and soda water in a rocks glass. Allow the sugar cube to soak in the soda water for about 1 minute.
  2. Using a muddler, mash the sugar cube so it dissolves in the water and bitters.
  3. Add the cognac and ice and stir.
  4. Squeeze the orange peel skin-side down over the cocktail to release the citrus oil and then drop it skin side up into the drink as garnish.

2. Incredible Hulk

Like its namesake, the Incredible Hulk cocktail is bright green and unusual. It's also unusually delicious; try an Incredible Hulk cocktail with cognac and Hypnotiq.

Incredible Hulk cocktail

3. Cognac Sour

If you enjoy a whiskey sour, why not replace whiskey with cognac to make a deeply flavorful cognac mixed drink? The cognac adds richness, while the lemon and lime keep it from becoming cloying.

Cognac sour with a cherry

Ingredients

  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ¾ ounce simple syrup
  • 1 ½ ounces cognac
  • Ice
  • Cherry for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the lemon juice, lime juice, simple syrup, and cognac. Fill the cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Shake.
  3. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice.
  4. Garnish with the cherry.

4. Stinger

At first glance, mint and cognac may seem an odd combination, but it works. In fact, the stinger was the cocktail of the aristocracy in New York high society at the turn of the 20th century. Try this stinger recipe, which has cognac and white creme de menthe.

Stinger cognac cocktail

5. Cognac Ginger Lemonade

For a refreshing summer beverage, try this cognac-spiked ginger lemonade.

ginger lemonade cocktail

Ingredients

  • 2 thin slices of peeled ginger root, chopped
  • ¾ ounce simple syrup
  • ¾ ounce lemon juice
  • 1½ ounces cognac
  • Ice
  • 2 to 4 ounces sparkling water
  • Mint, lemon wedge, and ginger for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a shaker, muddle the gingerroot with the simple syrup.
  2. Add the lemon juice and cognac. Fill the shaker with ice. Shake.
  3. Strain into a rocks glass or highball glass filled with ice. Add soda water and stir.
  4. Garnish with a sprig of mint, a lemon wedge, and a piece of ginger.

6. Sidecar

Invented in Europe after World War I ended, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel claims to have invented the sidecar. Wherever it came from, however, the sidecar is a classic cocktail made with cognac and Cointreau in a cocktail glass with a sweet sugared rim.

sidecar cocktail

7. Cognac Eggnog

Add cognac to eggnog for a boozy holiday treat. This serves 6.

Cognac eggnog

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs and 2 additional yolks
  • 1/2 cup of demerara sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 4 cups of milk (whole is preferable)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 cup cognac
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup of heavy cream, lightly whipped

Instructions

  1. Put a large pan on the stove on low. Whisk together the eggs yolks, sugar, salt, and milk.
  2. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. Remove it from the heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer.
  3. Add the nutmeg, cognac, and vanilla. Chill.

  4. Just before serving, fold in the whipped cream.

8. French Connection

Remember the 1971 classic movie, The French Connection, starring Gene Hackman? It's this cocktail's namesake. Add some amaretto and cola to cognac for a French connection.

French connection cocktail

9. Cognac Italian Coffee

Add a shot of cognac to Italian coffee; it's relaxing and stimulating all at once.

Cognac Italian coffee

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces cognac
  • ¾ demerara syrup (simple syrup made with equal parts demerara sugar and water)
  • 3 ounces hot Italian coffee
  • Unsweetened hand whipped cream
  • Nutmeg for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a mug, combine the cognac and demerara syrup. Stir.
  2. Pour in the coffee and stir again.
  3. Spoon the whipped cream over the top. Garnish with a grating of nutmeg.

10. Mulled Wine With Cognac

Replace Armagnac with cognac in the Mulled Wine With Armagnac recipe. Cognac will bring warmth and depth to this delicious winter warmer.

Mulled wine with cognac

11. Cognac French 75 Cocktail

The classic French 75 cocktail is made with gin, but substituting cognac adds complexity and warmth.

French 75 Cocktail

Ingredients

  • ¾ ounce lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce simple syrup
  • 1½ ounces cognac
  • Ice
  • 3 to 4 ounces sparkling wine, chilled
  • Lemon twist for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the lemon juice, simple syrup, and cognac. Add ice. Shake.
  2. Strain into a chilled Champagne flute. Top with the sparkling wine and stir.
  3. Garnish with a lemon twist.

12. Red or White Sangria

Sangria, a fruity wine punch, often calls for a spirit such as brandy, so cognac is a great option to add here. Enjoy it in both red sangria and white wine sangria recipes.

Sangria with cognac

13. Vieux Carré

The Vieux Carré is a drink that originated in New Orleans after the repeal of Prohibition. It's a stirred (not shaken) drink.

Vieux carre cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce cognac
  • 1 ounce rye whiskey
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • Two splashes of Bénédictine
  • 2 to 3 dashes Peychaud's bitters
  • 2 to 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Ice
  • Lemon peel for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a rocks glass.
  2. In a mixing cup, add the cognac, rye, vermouth, Bénédictine, and bitters. Add the ice. Stir well.
  3. Strain into the chilled rocks glass. Add ice if desired or serve straight up.
  4. Squeeze the lemon peel, skin-side down, over the cocktail to release the citrus oil. Then, drop it into the drink for garnish, skin-side up.

14. Cognac Sazerac

This is a twist on the classic Sazerac cocktail, which originated in New Orleans.

Cognac sazerac cocktail
  • 1 demerara sugar cube
  • 3 dashes Peychaud's bitters
  • Splash of soda water
  • 2 ounces cognac
  • Ice
  • Splash of absinthe
  • Lemon twist for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a rocks glass.
  2. In a separate rocks glass, add the sugar, bitters, and soda water. Allow the soda water to soften the sugar for about one minute. Muddle to crush the sugar cube into the water and bitters.
  3. Add the cognac and ice. Stir well to chill.
  4. In the chilled rocks glass, add the splash of absinthe. Swirl the absinthe around the glass to coat the sides and dump out any excess.
  5. Strain in the cocktail. Serve straight up (no ice).
  6. Garnish with the lemon twist.

15. Brandy Alexander

Use cognac as your brandy in a brandy Alexander, a sweet creamy pre-Prohibition cocktail. It contains cognac with cream and créme de cacao.

brandy alexander cocktail

Cognac Mixed Drinks Are a Spirited Choice

Cognac makes a beautiful spirit in many cocktails. That's why it's a great addition to a well-stocked bar for your next cocktail gathering.

15 Best Cognac Cocktails