The House of Rémy Martin has been a part of JAN the Journal’s story since Volume 1. What better way to celebrate our union in Volume 10 than with XO, the House Cellar Master’s signature 10-year-old cognac, a blend that expresses its full aromatic complexity. This fable-like cocktail is a homage to the vineyard. Every element hails from white grapes, even the grape must used in the mosbolletjie garnish that crowns this simple yet multi-layered drink that is made for savouring.
Freeze a few white seedless grapes for 4 – 6 hours. Infuse a simple sugar syrup with a pinch of salt and 10 ml toasted aniseeds. Pour 90 ml Rémy Martin XO and 90 ml vermouth into a cocktail shaker and fill with ice cubes. Stir in 90 ml aniseed syrup until chilled. Pour into a glass over a large spherical ice cube and top with 45 ml hanepoot juice. Add the frozen grapes and garnish with a slice of toasted mosbolletjie or brioche and crystalised vine leaves. To crystalise the leaves, blanch the vine leaves for 3 seconds. Place the leaves on a silicone mat on an oven tray, brush with simple sugar syrup then add a generous amount of sugar on top of the leaves. Dry out in the oven overnight at 50 °C.
BETTER WITH AGE
VS: Shorthand for Very Special or Superior, brandies carrying these letters on the label were aged for at least two years in oak and are classified as three star.
VSOP: Classified as five star and aged for at least four years in oak casks for Cognac or five years for Armagnac, VSOP stands for Very Special or Superior Old Pale.
XO: Referring to eXtra Old, XO brandies, Cognacs and Armagnacs spend at least six years in oak casks. In the case of Rémy Martin XO, this Cognac Fine Champagne spends at least 10 years in Limousin oak.