As mixologists, we all know that creativity and innovation set the bar (no pun intended) for the industry.

Great ideas come from new sources, new products, and the discovery of products that often fly under the radar. Armagnac is one of those products.

Lately there’s been an emergence of Armagnac as an ingredient for cocktails, as well as a substitute for whiskey, scotch, vodka, and other traditionally used mixers.

Armagnac glass, with bottle in background

Armagnac

Armagnac is a brandy, distilled once in a continuous alembic still and left at cask strength (48%) in French oak barrels with no water added. It’s distilled in Gascony, south of Bordeaux. Orange, plum, prunec and apricot flavors dominate the palate, while aromas of smoke and spice create the bouquet, much like that of a Scotch whisky.

Armagnac allows for the production of up to ten grapes, but typically only uses four. Ugni Blanc (the most commonly used), followed by Folle Blanche, Baco Blanc, and Colombard. Each grape varietal is distilled and aged in French oak separately, as they each impart distinctive qualities.

Blanche Armagnac is a traditional, young eau-de-vie that’s become the go-to for mixologists. It’s a clear spirit full of fruit and freshness, the perfect accompaniment for a cocktail. VS and VSOP are aged brown-hued Armagnacs used in cocktails.

The cocktail rule: Replace white spirits with Blanche Armagnac and brown spirits with Armagnac.

Give these Armagnac cocktails a mix.

Armagnac Sour

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. VS or VSOP Armagnac
  • 1/2 Lemon (Juiced)
  • 1 Sugar Cube

Preparation: Combine ingredients; shake with one iced cube. Shake with one ice cube.


Blanche Mojito

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Blanche Armagnac
  • 1/2 Lime
  • 7 Mint Leaves
  • 1 oz. Sparkling Water
  • 2 tsp. brown Sugar
  • Mint Sprig (for Garnish)

Preparation: Muddle the lime, brown sugar, and mint leaves in a glass; add the Armagnac, lightly shake and top with sparkling water and a mint sprig.


Blanche Sunrise

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Blanche Armagnac
  • 1 oz. Curacao
  • 1 oz. Orange Juice
  • 3 oz. Pineapple Juice

Preparation: Fill shaker with ice, add Blanche Armagnac, Curacao, orange and pineapple juices. Shake and strain into a Martini glass.