An Introduction to Courvoisier Cognac
A Brief History
Courvoisier is known for distilling luxury brand level cognac. With a rich history that’s heavily interwoven with notable events like the French Revolution, Courvoisier has come to be known as a unique, classy, and high-class brand. Founded in 1809, Courvoisier is one of France’s most exclusive and top cognac producers, rivalled by other cognac houses like Martell and Remy Martin.
Throughout its history, Courvoisier cognac was a drink to be enjoyed by the highest classes of society. It was a notable favorite of Napoleon, and was even served that the opening ceremony of the Eiffel Tower at the World’s Fair in the year 1889. With a selection ranging from VS to their Initiale Extra, Courvoisier promises full-body taste and only the best cognac for all to try!
Brandy vs. Cognac: What’s the difference?
By now, you’ve probably noticed that Courvoisier refers to their spirits as cognac, not brandy. But what’s the difference? Brandy and cognac are effectively the same thing, but cognac is a very specific type of brandy. Cognac is produced in the region of Cognac, France, and only brandy made in this area is allowed to be cognac (similar to how champagne can only be called as such if it’s made in Champagne).
Cognac’s are held to a very strict and specific distilling process, which often results in higher retail prices due to how exclusive bottles are. In fact, the distilling process is so specific that there’s even a particular type of grape that Courvoisier must use in order for their spirits to qualify as cognac. Their cognac is distilled in copper distillers and then aged in oak barrels for several years to draw out the smooth flavors of the wood.
Courvoisier Cognac Prices
|Courvoisier VS||375ml||$17.99 – $19.99||80|
|750ml||$22.99 – $24.99||80|
|1L||$36.99 – $39.99||80|
|1.75L||$49.99 – $55.99||80|
|Courvoisier VSOP||750ml||$35.99 – $39.99||80|
|Courvoisier XO||750ml||$114.99 – $149.99||80|
|Courvoisier VSOP Exclusif||750ml||$50.99 – $59.99||80|
|Courvoisier Napoleon Fine Champagne||750ml||$69.99 – $76.99||80|
|Courvoisier 12 Year Old||750ml||$46.99 – $49.99||80|
|Courvoisier 21 Year Old||750ml||$179.99 – $199.99||80|
|Courvoisier Initiale Extra||750ml||$349.99 – $355.99||80|
Courvoisier Prices Compared to Other Brandies
Paul Masson Brandy
Paul Masson is an American spirit house that produces brandy out of California. Brandies don’t carry as much exclusivity as cognacs and this often reflects in their price. A 750ml bottle of Paul Masson Brandy VSOP ranges from $12.99 – $15.99, while a bottle of Courvoisier VSOP goes for nearly double that amount.
Martell is another distilling house located in France that is also known for making cognac, not brandy. Cognac is made with a very specific harvesting, distilling,and aging process. Because of this, a bottle of Martell VSOP can range between $34.99 – $46.99, which is within the same range as a bottle of Courvoisier VSOP of the same volume.
Hennessy, much like Martell and Courvoisier, is a high-quality cognac producer based out of the same region of France. A bottle of Hennessy VS (750ml) ranges between $33.99 – $38.99, which is only slightly more expensive than a bottle of Courvoisier VS of the same volume.
E&J is a brand that produces their brandy out of California, and therefore are producers of brandy, not cognac. Much like with Paul Masson brandy, E&J’s products are a lot cheaper when compared to Courvoisier or any other cognac producing house. A 750ml bottle of E&J Brandytypically ranges from $20.99 – $22.99, which is significantly cheaper than the bottles of cognac that Courvoisier offers. E&J is a much newer distilling house, and is a lot more adventurous with its flavors.
A bottle of Rémy Martin VSOP (375ml) can cost anywhere between $46.20 – $49.99, while a bottle of Courvoisier VSOP (750ml) goes for slightly cheaper. This is in part due to the exclusivity of Rémy Martin cognacs, as well as the intricate distilling process they use to produce their spirits. However, Courvoisier and Rémy Martin are both some of France’s top-tier cognac producers and can be considered rivals in the cognac world.
Common Recipes: What to Mix with Courvoisier Cognac
- 5ml Courvoisier VSOP
- 2ml Triple Sec
- 2ml Lemon Juice
The Sidecar is a classic brandy/cognac concoction that is simple to make and easy to enjoy. Simply pour the drink’s ingredients in a shaker over ice. Shake well and then strain the mixed drink into a fancy glass. You can make a Sidecar with any type of brandy, but Courvoisier cognac offers that extra hint of elegance and smooth flavor.
Midnight in Paris
- 2.5ml Courvoisier VSOP
- Ginger Ale
- Orange Slice
This fruity and bubbly cocktail is a great drink for those introducing themselves to the world of cognac. In a tall glass full of cubed ice, pour the cognac and fill to the rim with ginger ale. With a straw or metal stirring spoon, give the drink a quick stir to allow the flavors to mix evenly. You can choose to garnish with the orange slice, but it’s completely optional.
Champagne (Cognac Cocktail)
- Brown Sugar Cube
- Angostura Bitters
- 2.5 ml Courvoisier VSOP
This fancy drink should definitely be reserved for special occasions. In a chilled glass, place the brown sugar cube in the center. With a few dashes of Angostura bitters (or more to your preference), allow the sugar cube to soak. Add the Courvoisier cognac and then fill to the rim with a champagne or sparkling wine of your choosing. The balance of sweet and bitter give the cognac the opportunity to shine, while the light flavor of the champagne makes this drink bubbly and an utter delight to enjoy!