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
Cognac, lime juice, sugar syrup
Cognac, lime juice, triple sec
Cognac, fresh cream, Kahlua, nutmeg
Cognac and champagne
Cognac, apple juice, lime juice, sugar syrup
neat Cognac shots
ON THE food MENU
Salads and breads
Dijon and Pommery mustard
Leek Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
Duck Confit and Potato Salad
Salade de Tomates et Fromage
Chicken Liver Rillette
Verrine Avocat Fromage Blanc
French Onion Soup
Baked Fish with Cognac
Seafood Beurre Blanc
Pommes Gratin Dauphinoise
Sautéed Spinach and Green Beans
Leek and Onion Tart
Savoury Mushroom Crepes
Apple Tart Tatin
Fresh Fruit Tarts
Are you a cognac drinker? Tell[email protected]