I have often heard cognac associated with a bitter taste, or with one that is too overpowering whether used in cooking or in mixed drinks. While it is true that cognac (especially when speaking of authentic French varietals) has a distinct array of flavors and aromas that might not suit everyone, it is important to show a different side of cognac that some consumers may be overlooking. I chose a cocktail that is pleasantly surprising in every way to illuminate my position on this type of liquor. Citrus fruits make this week’s recipe for Pizzetti summer-friendly, but it can truly be served year-round.
Honestly though, I cannot pinpoint the exact reason why these specific fruit juices blend so nicely with cognac. And though cognac is more commonly savored alone, this mixed drink still highlights the spirit well without overdoing it. In Italian, ‘pizzetti’ means ‘little pizzas.’ Borderline adorable, but not something I want to consume in liquid form. Rest assured that this effervescent beverage does not taste even remotely like pizza. The name may remain a mystery, but the delicious truth awaits, so follow the recipe below.
1 oz cognac*
2 oz orange juice
2 oz grapefruit juice
Champagne (or sparkling wine)*
*Replace the champagne with sparkling grape juice or ginger ale. Cognac can be substituted by juice from peaches, pears, or apricots. Personally, peach nectar seems like an especially delicious option when added to this mix. Luckily, substitutions for cognac leave ample room to experiment.
Shake the first three ingredients well with ice. Strain this mixture evenly into two chilled wine goblets. Top up each glass with champagne (or sparkling wine). Garnish each with a maraschino cherry.