Grönstedts National cognac tasting and cocktails at Little Quarter

Stefan Mårtensson and Anna Brynge

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to Little Quarter for a tasting of Grönstedts National 2012 cognac and a cognac cocktail inspiration/tasting. It started with master blender Stefan Mårtensson presenting this year's National (the eighth annual edition), which is a 100% Grande Champagne, average age 40 years. We were told that they were looking for something different this time, and not being a cognac expert I thought it was similar to an aged rum - very deep, smooth and a little bit sweet, with notes of tropical fruit, wood and nuts - not bad! Being a limited edition of 1500 bottles with a price tag of 749 SEK for 500 ml (available at Systembolaget from June 1), it's obviously only for sipping - and it sure was very tasty, but I think I'd rather spend my hard-earned cash on a nice demerara rum instead.

Micke Karlsson

Anyway, the afternoon continued with Little Quarter bartenders Jimmy Dymott and Micke Karlsson presenting a selection of drinks to make with cognac - one of the most important spirits used in the beginning of cocktail history but which disappeared in the favour of gin, bourbon and rum. The drinks we got to try - made with the younger and cheaper Grönstedts VS - were classics Brandy Crusta, Breck and Brace, Milk Punch and Sazerac, but also one cocktail created specially for the event:

Siljan Bitter Sour
35 ml Grönstedts VS cognac
35 ml Angostura Bitters
30 ml fresh lemon juice
30 ml simple suryp
20 ml egg white
Orange twist

Pour all ingredients into a shaker, dry shake, add ice and shake again. Strain into old fashioned glass with one big ice cube and finish with orange twist.

I know, it's a lot of Angostura Bitters... but just as with Giuseppe Gonzalez' Trinidad Sour and Stormy Mai Tai - it's definitely worth it!

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