Sunday, 8 October 2017

Martell Cognac

The Sublime Society of the Beef Steaks & Cognac Punches

Roasted scallops with garlic and white port

As part of London Cocktail Week 2018, Martell (the oldest cognac house in the world) teamed up with British steak joint Hawksmoor to offer one hell of an evening called "The Sublime Society of the Beef Steaks & Cognac Punches". A special dinner that paired with cognac and food. (For those who would like to find out more cognac, check out my "Harmonies" article in partnership with Cognac Bureau). It is great to see cognac brands repositioning to be a bit edgy, more versatile and fun along the way, vs the old days when it was associated just as a winter warmer. Good quality cognac is such a beautiful thing that can rival the finest single malt whiskies in the world.

Martell ambassador, Matthias Lataille

The dinner started off with a fruit punch, which contained Martell VS Single Distillery cognac, hop-infused Manzanilla sherry and fresh grapefruit juice. It was very refreshing and off-dry. It went perfectly well with the roasted scallops dressed with white port and garlic. The bitter and citrus element of the punch offered a great balance to the fattiness and richness of the scallops. On top of that, the cognac almost acted like a flavour enhancer to really bring out the umami taste of the scallop. 

Whole prime ribs, grass fed
Melt in your mouth...

In typical Hawksmoor fashion, a whole prime rib was served as a main course, seasoned to perfection. The rib's smoky aroma was such a thing of beauty, the meat was so moist with a melting texture. Last but not least, the dinner was finished with a fine glass of Martell Cordon Bleu, perhaps one of the very best cognacs that were ever created, most of its grapes came from a single region called Borderies. Cordon Bleu is renown for its nutty aroma and mellow bitterness with a hint of dark chocolate, it is such an exquisite cognac that should be reserved for a special occasion. 

Neal's Yard cheeses
Martell Cordon Bleu

The evening was both fun and educational, it offered the diners so many insights about how food works with cognac. For me personally, I have found my all time favourite punch with The Martell XO punch that was served with the cheese course. The punch was a tea-based with port wine, lemon juice, earl grey tea and the famous Martell XO. A top quality XO grade cognac that was packed with some serious spices and long-lasting smooth finish. 

Earl Grey tea punch with Martell XO

Inspired by the XO punch, I have come up with my own version of earl grey tea cocktail, using a VSOP grade cognac, ideal as an after dinner treat!

  • 2 parts VSOP grade Cognac
  • 1 part cold earl grey tea
  • 1/2 part white port wine
  • 1/4 part sugar syrup
  • 1/2 part fresh lemon juice

1) Add all ingredients into a shaker with plenty of ice and shake for 30 seconds.
2) Double strain the liquid into a Martini glass and garnish with an orange peel.

For more information about Martell cognac and Hawksmoor, please visit 

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