Looking for a better brandy? Look no further than Armagnac, which is the oldest of all the brandies distilled in France. Think of it as Cognac’s more affordable sibling. Distilled from white wine grapes, it’s aged in black oak casks. Here are six Armagnac cocktails featuring the svelte spirit to fuel your evening out.
Blue Duck Tavern, Washington, D.C.
Bay leaf Armagnac takes the lead in That Green Thing. It’s complemented by a variety of verdant ingredients – green chartreuse, arugula syrup, lime juice – plus a kiwi grape garnish. Bonus: it’s 100 percent vegan. Make a reservation at Blue Duck Tavern.
Kensington Quarters, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Armagnac and Strega power the Mule Variations. A ginger beer float adds a spicy kick. And a mess of muddled mint makes it a rocking refreshment. Make a reservation at Kensington Quarters.
Le Diplomate, Washington, D.C.
The Belle Epoque (Beautiful Era) starts with a subtle sweetness, follows with cocoa and orange spice notes, and has a clean, dry finish. It’s made from a mixture of Armagnac VS, Dolin Blanc, and Kina L’Aero d’Or Quinquina – plus a pinch of salt. An orange twist completes the charming composition. Make a reservation at Le Diplomate.
Three Dots and a Dash, Chicago, Illinois
Gather a group and get freaky with the tiki. Armagnac, rum, and gin give the Bali Bali some serious oomph. Passion fruit, orange, pineapple, and lime juices lend it a tropical sensibility. Make a reservation at Three Dots and a Dash.
Bistro Campagne, Chicago, Illinois
Celebrate simplicity. The Sidecar is made with nothing more than Chateau de Laubade VSOP Bas Armagnac, Cointreau, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Going back to the basics never tasted so good. Make a reservation at Bistro Campagne.
Opaline Bar and Brasserie, Washington, D.C.
D’Artagnan of The Three Musketeers had roots in Gascony, where Armagnac is produced, so it’s appropriate that the spirit dominates the cocktail that bears his name. It’s buttressed by Champagne, Grand Marnier, and orange juice. We’re all for one. Make a reservation at Opaline Bar and Brasserie.
Have you been sipping Armagnac cocktails? Let us know in the comments or over on Facebook, G+, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter. And, remember to snap + share your #dishpics with us on Instagram for a chance to win in our weekly giveaway.
Nevin Martell is a Washington, D.C.-based food and travel writer and the author of several books, including Freak Show Without A Tent: Swimming with Piranhas, Getting Stoned in Fiji and Other Family Vacations. Find him on Twitter @nevinmartell and Instagram @nevinmartell.
Photo credits: Jeff Marini (Three Dots and a Dash).