In New York City there’s always an event happening – an art show, a book launch, a dinner for charity, a new bar or restaurant opening. You name any day of the week and there will be a long list of places throwing some kind of fête that you want to go to.
I, of course, am fixated on attending all the French ones. Quelle surprise ! The wines, the aperitifs, the digestifs, the food, the fabulous French company – it’s clearly a recipe for a successful evening.
Here’s to the French house of CAMUS
This past month I had the pleasure of being invited to a launch party for France’s most famous digestif, cognac – CAMUS cognac in particular.
2013 marks the 150th anniversary of the House of CAMUS, the last major independent family-owned cognac house in France. And to celebrate that 150-year history, they threw a NYC dinner party to highlight their cognac and unveil their new Cuvée 5.150.
The ‘5.150’ is a melding of their five ancestral cognacs, each representative of a generation of the family committed to the same standards of excellence imbued with heritage and tradition.
The evening allowed the guests to become better acquainted with the complex flavors of cognac, and through interesting demonstrations guests were able to see how each eau de vie has its own character and depth of flavor, in line with what a producer wants their cognac to represent.
Flavors like vanilla, citrus, wood, cream, and even exotic fruit can all come to life in the nose and the body of a cognac. The wonderful demonstration before dinner really allowed the complexity of cognac on the whole to shine through.
The perfect French pairing
The evening progressed beautifully with a five-course meal prepared by celebrity chef Scott Conant, pairing both cognac and wine with varying courses.
The first course of chestnut soup with smoked guinea hen and freshly shaved black truffle as well as the delectable fourth course of varying cheeses were paired with cognac. This allowed a whole wealth of flavor to burst through, which may not have been as effective if simply paired with wine. Having always considered cognac more of a digestif, I was thrilled to experience such a French staple in such a different way.
Overall, it was a beautifully constructed culinary evening any francophile in New York would be thrilled to attend – a culmination of French heritage and tradition mixed with modern-day innovation.
My favorite part of the night was admittedly the cognac cocktail (again – quelle surprise! ) served at the very beginning of the evening to whet our appetites for what was to come.
If you’re looking for a truly French cocktail for your next dinner or cocktail party this is a definite winner:
Camus Cognac 150-Year Special
Image credits: Images courtesy of CAMUS
1 oz Camus VSOP Elegance
1/3 oz. cane sugar syrup
3 drops of Violet Liqueur
3 oz. Champagne Brut
1 Maraschino cherry