Stirring, shaking and sipping cocktails is not a new concept. But, it has grown in popularity over the years, especially for amateur at-home mixologists like myself. Whether you’re hosting an intimate gathering or perhaps are interested in treating yourself to an after-dinner concoction, mixing cocktails at home shouldn’t mean creating an entirely separate grocery list for ingredients. Forget the shaved lemon zest, egg whites, fresh this and that; I want a delicious cocktail that looks pretty and goes down smooth.
Cocktail connoisseurs, allow me to introduce Cîroc VS Fine French Brandy, the newest French brandy from the ultra-premium liquor brand popularly endorsed by celebrated artist Sean “Puffy” Combs. Cîroc VS Fine French Brandy is a luxurious brandy but what makes it truly special is that it has been aged from 2-15 years. Compared to other brown liquors, Cîroc brand ambassador Terrance McCleveland says the Cîroc VS Fine French Brandy is a very rare blend. “It has a taste of rich, dried vanilla and a touch of French oak. There is a lingering caramel and a hit of fruit to round out the profile and finish,” McCleveland describes.
By aging the brandy in French oak barrels, the velvety Cîroc VS Fine French Brandy offers an unparalleled smooth finish. There is an elevated expectation when it comes to French brandy, coupled with a desire for a high-quality spirit. These expectations are met and exceeded with this brandy. With a reputation for crafting masterful spirits, Cîroc has followed suit with its French brandy. But what allows this particular brandy to stand out among the other pool or dark liquors is its storied past. “Our master blender has a family history of over 500 years of winemakers and distillers,” McCleveland tells me. “Some may even say he has the art of distillation in his veins with that lineage!” With master distillers who have chosen spirits as more than a business but as a personal passion, Cîroc VS Fine French Brandy was created out of love, flavor and richness.
If brandy is already your spirit of choice, McCleveland recommends sipping on Cîroc VS Fine French Brandy either neat or on ice. “We prefer it this way because we want people to taste the French oak, dried fruit, and to appreciate the smoothness. When you have such a fine quality, you really don’t have to mix it with so many mixers,” he explains. While it is delicious enough to stand by itself, sipping on ice will mellow the flavors out a bit and offer a more relaxed taste.
If you’re new to the brandy world, and are still practicing your cocktail shaking skills at home, McCleveland recommends his personal favorite drink featuring Cîroc VS: one of the most famous cocktails for brandy, the Sidecar. Made with three ingredients, including lemon juice and a little triple sec, the Sidecar feels more like two drinks in one after you incorporate one important move. “Rim the edge of the glass with sugar. It gives you a little bit of sweetness to the drink to counter the sour taste,” McCleveland adds. With just three ingredients, this cocktail is not only made for a novice, but it tastes and looks like a masterful concoction.
Perfect for a veteran mixologist or an up-and-comer, the smooth new Cîroc VS Fine French Brandy incorporates itself flawlessly into your at-home cocktail making. See below for the full recipe for the CÎROC VS Sidecar.
CÎROC VS Sidecar:
1.5 oz CÎROC VS Fine French Brandy
0.5 oz Lemon
1 oz Triple Sec
Preparation: Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously until all ingredients are chilled. Double strain into a coupe glass rimmed with sugar.