Brandy & Cognac Cocktail Recipes

Your bar or restaurant probably turns to brown spirits most in the winter, which of course most commonly mean whiskey and dark or spiced rums. But have you considered the other brown spirits—cognac and brandy?

These complex spirits can be overlooked in bar programs, but in this article, we'll be bringing them into the spotlight by sharing cognac and brandy cocktails you can add to your winter cocktail menus.

First, a primer for those unfamiliar with the spirits. Brandy is a liquor produced by distilling wine. All cognac is brandy, but not all brandy is cognac.

To quote our contributing writer, Elyse Glickman, in her recent Spirited Stock column on cognac, "Simply put, cognac is a specific type of brandy produced from distilled white wine and aged in French oak barrels for a minimum of two years but often longer depending on the type of cognac."

Check out our list of cocktail recipes below that are perfect for bartenders both experienced in cognac and brandy and brand-new to the spirits. And if you 're looking for even more cognac recipes, be sure to read our Spirited Stock column linked above!


brandy cocktail recipe
Photo & recipe: Argonaut

Brandy Espresso Martini


1 1/2 oz. Argonaut Fat Thumb

1 oz. espresso, cooled

1/2 oz. coffee liqueur

1/2 oz. simple syrup (1:1)


  1. Shake all of the ingredients vigorously with ice
  2. Strain into a chilled glass
  3. Garnish with three whole coffee beans


brandy cocktail recipe
Photo & recipe: Argonaut

California Old Fashioned


2 oz. Argonaut Fat Thumb Brandy

¼ oz. Simple Syrup 

2-3 dashes of Aromatic Bitters 

Garnish: Expressed Orange peel w/ an Argonaut Brandied Cherry 


cognac cocktail
Recipe: Frederic Yarm, Lead bartender, Josephine, Somerville, MA

Algiers Point

1 oz Cognac
1 oz Rye Whiskey
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
3 dash Peychaud's Bitters
2 dash Orange Bitters


  1. Stir with ice
  2. Strain into an old fashioned glass rinsed with Herbsaint (absinthe or pastis will work here too)
  3. Garnish with lemon oil from a twist


cognac cocktail recipe
Photo: Charity Burggraaf
Recipe: Jesse Cyr, Heritage Steak & Whiskey, Beverage Director

Café Racer

1.5 oz Park VS Carte Blanche Cognac
.75 oz lemon juice
.5 oz orgeat
.25 oz Giffard Apricot liqueur
2 dashes Angostura bitters


  1. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker tin
  2. Fill tin with ice and shake until chilled
  3. Fine strain into a coupe glass
  4. Garnish with a dried apricot on a pick


brandy cocktail recipe
Recipe: Jason Asher, Vice President of Beverage, Barter & Shake


1.00 dh Vetiver Root Tincture
1.00 dh Cassia Bud Tincture
1.00 dh St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
1.00 dh Bitter Truth Peach Bitters
0.50 oz Caperitif Aperitif
0.50 oz Liqueur Blend (Averna Amaro / Ginger-infused Amaro Montenegro)
0.75 oz Appleton 12yr Rum
1.25 oz Hardy 1863 Cognac


  1. Stir with Cold Draft Ice
  2. Strain into glass
  3. Garnish with Artisan 2x2 Ice Cube (large cube), Orange Peel (Discard)
  4. Top with cinnamon vaporized with a flavor blaster


cognac cocktail recipe
Recipe: Susana Fernandez, Bartender at Plaza Hotel

Spicy Sweet Lemon

Cucumber, jalapeño and curcuma to muddle
1/2 oz lime juice
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz demarara syrup
1/2 oz all spices liq
1/4 oz Campari
1 1/2 oz Cognac
2 dashes angostura bitters


  1. Muddle cucumber, jalapeño and curcuma with citrus juices
  2. Add demarara, liqueurs and cognac
  3. Fill with ice, shake, and double strain in a double rocks glass
  4. Garnish with 1/3 salt rim, cucumber rolled slice and lime wedge perched



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