National Cognac Day is observed from coast to coast each year on June 4.
A well-known variety of brandy, Cognac was named after the town of Cognac in France. It is produced in the wine-growing region which surrounds the town from which it takes its name.
Certain legal requirements must be met within the production for a distilled brandy to bear the name Cognac. The use of a particular variety of grape is one requirement along with the need to distill the brandy twice in copper pot stills. The primary grape used is Ugni Blanc. The brandy must also be aged at least two years in French oak barrels from Limousin or Troncais. Most cognacs are aged much longer than the minimum legal requirement.
There are close to 200 cognac producers. According to one 2008 estimate, more than 90% of cognac for the U.S. market comes from only four producers.
The following are cognac-based drinks:
- Grand Marnier – made from cognac and distilled essence of bitter orange
- Pineau des Charentes – a sweet aperitif, composed of eau-de-vie and grape must
- Domaine De Canton – cognac-based ginger liqueur
- Dutch brandy (Vieux) – Dutch imitation cognac, usually containing some cognac
HOW TO OBSERVE
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