How To Drink Cognac Like The French

Rebecca Varidel
28th Feb 2023

In 2023, it’s all about quality over quantity when it comes to beverages! And it's even more important when delightfully drinking spirits. In the era of quality capsule wardrobes with less-is-more sustainability, let us also introduce you to the new home bar concept of the Capsule Bar Cart. If you’re finding yourself wondering "What is a Capsule Bar Cart? " it involves stocking the limited selection of top-shelf spirits that are the quality essentials that you need to have at home.

Popular Sydney spirits at the moment are gin (summer) and whisky (winter), both prominent in our elegant Sydney Scoop home bars, yet you might be surprised at our other favourite - which is Cognac (French brandy). Monnet Cognac which was started by the Monnet family in 1897, has only just recently become available to Australian drinkers and provides the perfect addition to your home bar.


Cognac is a type of brandy produced by twice distilling grapes produced in any of the designated growing regions. The distillation must be in copper pot stills and Cognac must be aged at least two years in French oak barrels from Limousin or Tronçais. Cognac matures in the same way as whiskies and wines barrel-age, and most good Cognacs spend considerably longer 'on the wood' than the minimum legal requirement. Cognac quality is guaranteed because production comes under the French appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC), with production methods and naming required to meet certain legal requirements.


Such a delighfully delicious way, and perhaps the best, way to enjoy Cognac - is straight. Drinking it straight is the ultimate sensory experience, so make sure to take time to savour, to look at the colour, swirl and sniff as you sip. Did you know that unlike tasting wine, some spirits connoisseurs recommend sniffing with one nostrel only? If you’re choosing to sip a Cognac straight, we recommend going for gold and busting out a bottle of the Monnet X.O. Flamboyant (RRP $189.99). XO follows higher in the official Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC) quality grades of Cognac higher than V.S. V.S.O.P. and Napoléon. In X.O. (Extra Old) the minimum age of the youngest brandy used is 10 years. This SKU is best enjoyed in a tulip glass or white wine glass to preserve its aromas.

On The Rocks

Making for a great aperitif, Monnet Cognac can also be enjoyed on the rocks from time to time. While it might seem unusual to enjoy the fine spirit watered down with ice, it’s common among the French to add ice to their Cognac before a meal. Try this with the Monnet V.S.O.P. ($82.99) the next time you have guests over for a dinner party.

Mixed In A Cocktail

Monnet Sunshine (RRP $75.00) mixes perfectly into a summer cocktail. We recommend making our favourite cocktails (both challenging to make and balance - go on we dare you) a Sazarac or a Sidecar. The Sidecar is any cocktail traditionally made with Cognac, orange liqueur (Cointreau, Grand Marnier, dry curaçao, or a triple sec), plus lemon juice. The Sidecar, like the rum-based daiquiri, evolved from the original sour formula, but Sidecars are often drier than Sours, which is exactly why we love them! Serve the Sidecar straight up, chilled without ice.

Paired With Your Food

A Happy Hour favourite in France, is to sip on the Monnet V.S. ($72.99) with your oysters. Younger Cognacs like the Monnet Cognac V.S. pair well with oysters, and hard cheeses. Or try our newer Sydney Scoop technique, take an eyedropper to top your freshly shucked oyster with three drops of Monnet Cognac before downing. What’s not to love?