Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cognac – fit for a king, or a cake

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If you ever find yourself in Cognac, I recommend a visit to the chateau of King Francois I of France – now the house of Otard Cognac.
Just add cognac, ice and tonic for a perfect day
The walls show the scars of the chateau’s chequered past. One of the most beautiful rooms in the castle was designed by Leonardo da Vinci, a good friend of Francois. This room has seen service as a prison, but these days, is used for banquets and concerts.
After the tour comes the tasting. We were told about the different grades of cognac and the more complex flavours that you can expect to taste in the amber liquid as you go up the scale. The bottles start at around €20 and rise very quickly to several hundred euro. When the saleswoman pointed out the really special stuff, an Australian lady in the group gave a shocked gasp.
‘OH! MY! GOD! I recognise those’, she said. ‘My late husband used to collect two bottles every time we went to Europe. But he’d never drink them, and he certainly never let me near them,’ she said, somewhat resentfully.

She told us that after his death, she had found his secret stash of breathtakingly expensive cognac and had been liberally dosing her fruit cakes with them! They had proved enormously popular, she added. No wonder, at about €50 a snifter! I had a feeling that this knowledge was not going to stop her adding cognac to her fruit cakes.
Simple but refreshing

Cognac is a marvellous cooking ingredient but as I am on hols, I have a very short recipe for you today – it’s my holiday drink and has the unromantic name of Cognac Tonic
In a tall glass, add a half measure of cognac, and top it up with ice and tonic. Cheers!
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17 comments:

  1. What a fun story - I'd love to visit Cognac :) My mom used to use cognac in the trifle. I now tend to use sherry instead.

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  2. What a fun place to have a vacation. I have had cognac added chocolates during my stay in Europe ,but never in my cooking :-)

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  3. Lol! Cognac should be enjoyed anyway that you can. Even if it is in a fruit cake.

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  4. Lovely post! Sounds like you're having a fantastic time. Much like that woman who's working her way through that 'hands-off' cognac collection :)

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  5. Enjoy your holiday, Hester! I'm going to put Cognac on my bucket list :)

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  6. Cheers to you too! I have tasted fruitcakes with cognac and they were really good! I'll definitely use cognac for my fruitcake come Christmas time. Meanwhile I'll have a taste with your tall drink!

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  7. Oui! Cognac! I had the privilege of participating in a tasting a while ago...so delicious, not just for flambe!

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  8. I love this story! Too cute. :)

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  9. Hehehehe really funny story! I love cognac! I hope you are having a great time! Enjoy your holiday and relax! <3

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  10. That is a hilarious story! lol

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  11. LOL!!! Great post - thank you for the good laugh! :)

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  12. I adore your story: no wonder they were exceedingly good - and popular -cakes!
    Love also your first photo: dreaming of doing the same with a glass of cognac like that, too ;-)

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  13. The story about the widow and her cognac made me giggle. I can just picture her attitude!

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  14. My hubby would love this. Happy Memorial Day. :)

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  15. Love Cognac, and I use in some foods! x gloria

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  16. i want to sleep in that right now!!!

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  17. Cognac tonic sure sounds good! as well as a visit to chateau of King Francois I!

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