Brandy is a funny liqueur; it has a remarkable flavor, if you can get beyond it’s alcoholic breath. I’m [trying][kirsch], but so far I’ve had little success with it. Santa was very nice to me, as I noted, and I found myself in possession of some Cognac. The bottle I have is a **Chalfonte** *V.S.O.P. Grande Fine Cognac*. Cognacs are brandies that are specifically from the area around Cognac, France. They are made from specific grapes, distilled in specific copper-pot stills, and aged for at least two years in oak barrels.The gift I received had a set of two tiny [brandy snifters][snifter] that are perfect for 1oz servings. I swirled and sipped my Cognac slowly, but it was only slightly more palatable than the [Kirsch]. I’m still a port/sherry man when it comes to *aperitifs*. However, I know a secret about Cognac.
- 1 pint of heavy cream
- ¼ cup of sugar
- 1 oz. fine brandy or Cognac
DirectionsChill metal mixing bowl for at least 15 minutes in freezer. Remove bowl from freezer, add cream and sugar and mix with electric mixer. When soft peaks form (in about 30–45 seconds), add brandy and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
Everyone is used to grand old vanilla whipped cream, and I’m not one to complain about any sort of fresh whipped cream. But a little bit of Cognac instead makes it an exotic topping. A spoonful of this on a nice warm cup of coffee–hey, throw an ounce of Cognac in there, too–is a tasty end to dinner.