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Apr 13, 2013 02:44 PM

I need some advice about Cognac in cooking please

I am going to buy my first bottle of Cognac in a few days. I will be using it for such things as Julia Child's French Onion Soup, among others.

Can one of you be so kind as to assist me with a brand that would be good for this? I don't want a super-expensive bottle that is just for drinking; However, I also do not want something cheap. I am told by the store that Cognac keeps for several years, so an investment in something worthwhile is not something I would be averse to.

Thank you so much for any advice you have! :)

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  1. On the principle of cooking with something you would drink, I like Hine cognac. I wouldn't cook with the more expensive Hines, though. The regular VSOP is a good cognac and affordable by the standard you have given here.

    1. I think that el Presidente Mexican brandy has a fine flavor profile for cooking. Stepping up to drinking Cognac, I like the lower end Pierre Ferrand. From there I have not found any I like that much better for less than about a hundred dollars a bottle, no longer in my price range. I also like Calvados but it is a different flavor than Cognac. I have substituted a lot of different liquors in recipes calling for Cognac, and although it is quite different, have enjoyed the results with, of all things, Jameson's Irish whisky, very sweet in a glass by itself but more subtle in savory dishes. As regards el Presidente, a guy in a liquor store insisted I try E & J for cooking. Yuck. Big mistake.

      1. I use Landy VS in some recipes, but mainly for cocktails. It is a fantastic value for cognac.

        1 Reply
        1. re: tomjb27

          Another vote from me for Landy VS @$20

        2. Yarm suggested La Foret VSOP, which is a French brandy that is not from the Cognac region. It is a little hard to find, but at $20 is a good value. When I tried it, I added it to my list of recommended brands at the economy level.

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          1. Hello, I would chose an artisan cognac V.S (for Very Special), also called *** (or Three Stars), a cognac which youngest eau-de-vie is at least two years old. Couprie - SĂ©lection du Domaine or Louis Bouron - VS would be a great start,

            And if you want to treat yourself as well as your guests, you may want to try Cognac Jean Fillioux - Cep d'Or. Monique Fillioux is herself a talented cook and uses her husband's creations in her scallops or chocolate soufflé for instance.

            Enjoy, and keep exploring cooking with cognac. Chantal MARTELL