One of the most refined drinks in the world is cognac that is the best accompaniment for after dinner conversations. A luxurious cousin of brandy, to savor its flavor to the fullest is it important to use the right cognac glass. Cognac is a brandy that is distilled twice and aged in French oak barrels to achieve its flavor and texture. One of the most expensive cocktails, so it is imperative that a proper cognac glass is used experience its flavor.
The cognac glass is a wonderful combination of function and pure delight. The glass is designed while taking into consideration its aroma, the temperature, and volume. The shape of the glass enhances the experience of drinking cognac by emphasizing its deep color and allowing movement of drink.
The glasses for cognac are of two types, one is a tulip shaped glass and the other is snifter which is a balloon shaped glass. They both are unique and offer different advantages.
Cognac connoisseurs stress on the right shape of the glass to best enjoy the drink. The tulip shaped glasses are preferred that is so named after the flower. It is a cognac glass with a long stem that opens into a large bell and curves inward at the top and flares outward at the rim. It is best suited for the XO cognacs like Remy martin or VSOP cognacs that are aged for number of years and have an expressive character that lingers into a long finish that is typical of an old cognac. The shape is such that it maximizes the surface area of the liquid accentuating its color while releasing its aroma and enhancing the flavor.
The second, slightly less preferred, is the so called balloon glass, also called the snifter. This is a short stemmed glass that balloons at the bottom and slopes inwards towards the narrow top. The balloon glass gives the cognac large surface area to release its scents and aromas and the smaller opening at the top concentrates the scents for the nose but to a lesser degree than the tulip glass.
Purists insist that in order to enjoy and appreciate this luxurious distilled spirit the above mentioned glasses are the only one from which to drink your cognac. After all great effort, time and care goes into making of one of the finest drinks in the world. They believe that the cognac is to be had neat without mixing anything else and at room temperature. But it can be mixed with other drinks, alcoholic or non alcoholic, and had in other type of a glass. You may mix your cognac with sparking water that can be had in a rock glass, which is a glass without stem.
One can always improvise if proper cognac glasses are not available. In such case the wine glass can be used as an alternative to cognac glasses.
The whole idea of a proper cognac glass is to have maximum area for the movement of the liquid, but narrowing at the rim so that you get the intensity of the bouquet. An inward curve with an outward flare at the rim ensures the best introduction to the palate. If you enjoy your cognac in the neat form, then you owe it to the drink to have the great tasting experience in a perfect cognac glass.