Friday, August 3, 2012

Camus VS Elegance

Some may consider stepping from top of the line Cognacs like Camus Borderies XO and Rarissimes Vintage  1971 back to Camus VS Elegance a little peculiar. In fact, though, I've never been known to do things like everyone else. Perhaps you've noticed that. The fact is, however, that I just never took the opportunity. I'm fairly new to Cognacs in general, and my first big splash was with those awesome products not so long ago on a ByTheGlassShow appearance with Camus' Alexandra Albu. In fact, Alex was nice enough to give me this and a few other samples for this website.

Cognac-making is super regulated by the French government. Wanna sneeze in Cognac? Get some sort of permit and verification. Seriously, though, the regulations serve a purpose and guarantee that each Cognac is exactly what the producer claims. VS Cognacs must be aged for a minimum of two years, though there could  be cognacs in the blend that are far older (even all of them may be older). Because of this minimal age requirement, this is usually the lowest cost Cognac designation that you can buy, of course depending on the House that made it.

If you are going to use Cognac in a cocktail, the VS (Very Special) and VSOP (Very Special Old Pale) are your best bets. While they are fine for drinking neat, they are affordable enough for mixing as well. (You can walk into Total Wine and buy a 750 mL bottle of this for $24.) 40% alcohol. Imported by CIL Amerique, Mahhasset, NY.

Alex gave me several informational handouts, many of which include cocktail recipes. There are some listed on their website, but I'll list the other unique ones for you at the bottom. Also, a few just say "cognac" but you should probably stick to VS and VSOP unless you're rich. (And YOU (rich people) should have me over for drinks.) There are also a few that contradict the cards with recipe measurements, but don't let that bother you. Basically, use these for ideas and mix to taste.

So let's taste this VS Elegance. Nice aroma. Soft and fruity apples meet floral lilacs in a dream where the florist spills a little of this on herself, only to find that the perfumey scent brings much positive attention.  (BTW, I just started drinking, so you know this commentary gets much better. Come hang out with me some time!)

Frisky start, really waking up the taste buds. Fruity apples and grapes completely coat the palate. Some alcohol warmth comes next only to be matched by nice sweet honey flavors. Spicy cinnamon gives a little more zing before a woody oak and vanilla finish. A little more heat in the chest rounds out the experience.

Next time, I will try mixing a cocktail with this one, though I'm going to need to go buy some ingredients. Here are some additional ideas for mixing. And assume I mean Camus Cognac for all of these, OK? One of these could be the spirit that makes you switch.


2 oz VS/VSOP
1 oz Triple Sec
1 oz Sweet and Sour Mix
1 oz Orange Juice

Combine all ingredients in shaker with ice. Shake and pour into rocks glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Camus Wildflower

2 oz VS/VSOP
0.75 oz Maple Syrup
1 oz Lime Juice
1 oz Orange Juice

Combine all ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled glass. Top with grated cinnamon.

Camus Pink Love

1 oz VS/VSOP
0.25 oz Raspberry Liqueur

Combine Cognac and raspberry liqueur in a champagne flute. Top with Champagne and garnish with raspberry.

Camus and Tonic

2 oz VS/VSOP
2 oz Superior Tonic Water

Pour Cognac into rocks glass, then tonic water. Stir lightly and garnish with lime wedge.

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