Nicole Lebedevitch is general manager of The Hawthorne in Boston.
The Ce Soir is a Cognac cocktail that I created for the whiskey drinker to enjoy after dinner for something bitter and soothing. I chose to mix with the Cognac, as its flavors are much softer than those of rye whiskey. Here the mellow and somewhat funkiness of the Cognac really support the bitterness of the cynar and the herbaceous quality of the yellow chartreuse to kick the Manhattan drinker in the rear.
The Cognac also adds a silkier mouth feel to the cocktail, mainly due to its nature of being a grape-based spirit as opposed to its stronger, more dominate contender: whiskey. Although I really focus on the mellow nature of the Cognac, I do mix this with the Pierre Ferrand 1840 that is a touch higher in alcohol then most Cognacs, which definitely allows it to play with all of those dominant flavors and still stand out.
You have to be careful–Cognac is a delicate spirit, and can be overpowered by a too-aggressive mixer in a cocktail. But if you play to its unique tones and delicate yet structured body, you’ll be sure to find your way into a sultry, delicious cocktail.
The Ce Soir
2 oz. Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac
¾ oz. Cynar
½ oz. Yellow Chartreuse
Dash of Regan’s orange bitters
Dash of Angostura bitters
Combine ingredients in glass with ice. Garnish with lemon oil, discard the used twist.