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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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CALL OF THE COGNAC

Remy McSwain: “That’s Remy. Like that cognac, smooth yet strong”

 — The Big Easy (1986)

Pictures by Anindya Shankar Ray

Smooth and strong were the operative words at Splash, the rooftop lounge at Swissotel, on Saturday evening. For that’s where the Calcutta Malt & Spirits Club teamed up with the Rajarhat star address to host a cognac party for its members and their guests.

“Since our launch in August, we have had monthly tastings of various spirits. The founder members of the club have said that we should have a series of events to showcase the various spirits. Since we had done a cognac tasting a few months ago, we decided to have a cognac party this winter,” said founder member Subhasis Ganguli.

The evening, with a host of cognac cocktails on offer (see box) paired with a spread of delectable French cuisine, was organised not only to familiarise the city with the fine whisky blend, but also to clear certain myths associated with the drink that traces its origin to France.

“When we bounced off the idea of having a cognac party with the companies that have it in their brand portfolio, they were very upbeat because cognac has this image of being an older person’s drink, of being drunk only neat, and of being an after-dinner drink. Then, most people think that you can drink cognac only after warming the cup and so on,” added Ganguli.

The chill in the air provided the perfect ambience as guests chatted and caught up while sipping on their choice of cognac cocktails. Most started off with the Sour which is known to tingle the palate and was, hence, the fastest moving. The Alexander didn’t have many takers because the combination of cream and coffee proved a tad heavy. On the other hand, Lancefranc scored because it was relatively light. The cognac card available included VSOP, VS and XO.

Each of the three non-vegetarian main course items was individually served where guests had a share of one main course and then discarded their plates when they moved to the next. Some of the ingredients were marinated in cognac beforehand.

Supported by Hennessy, the event saw a turnout of over 100. “A lot of the guests are urging us to do it again, but we will have to wait for next winter because cognac isn’t really a summer drink,” said Ganguli.

Coming up from the Calcutta Malt & Spirits Club this winter: Glenmorangie and Glenlivet dinners.

ON THE COGNAC MENU

Hennessy Sour

Cognac, lime juice, sugar syrup

Hennessy Sidecar

Cognac, lime juice, triple sec

Hennessy Alexander

Cognac, fresh cream, Kahlua, nutmeg

Hennessy Ritz

Cognac and champagne

Hennessy Lancefranc

Cognac, apple juice, lime juice, sugar syrup

neat Cognac shots

ON THE food MENU

Salads and breads

Baguette

Epi

Fougasse

Plain butter

Camembert butter

Herb butter

Tapenade

Dijon and Pommery mustard

Salads

Mesclun Salad

Leek Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette

Nicoise Salad

Duck Confit and Potato Salad

Salade de Tomates et Fromage

Chicken Liver Rillette

Canapes

Pissaladière

Quiche Lorraine

Gougères

Verrines

Verrine Avocat Fromage Blanc

Saumon Fumé

Soup

French Onion Soup

Main course

Baked Fish with Cognac

Seafood Beurre Blanc

Chicken Fricassee

Boeuf Bourguignon

Ratatouille

Pommes Gratin Dauphinoise

Sautéed Spinach and Green Beans

Leek and Onion Tart

Savoury Mushroom Crepes

Herb Pilaf

Dessert

Apple Tart Tatin

Mille-feuille

Croquembouche

Paris Brest

Chocolate Mousse

Fresh Fruit Tarts

Crème Brulee

Crepes

Cheese

Camembert

French Emmental

Roquefort

Priyanka Roy

Are you a cognac drinker? Tellt2@abp.in