I’ll never forget the first time I decided to put booze to bitters, the enthralling experience of creating infinite flavors that can range on the sublime (a delicious well-made Sazerac) or the down right bizarre, My vey first homemade cocktail was this god awful peach and gin concoction that had all the subtlety of a sugar hammer to the jaw. A few manuscripts later and the,painstaking process of trial and error I have become quite comfortable with a mixing glass in my hand (dem Ratios) a few years later I found a love for a delicious whispery spirit that delivers the bold flavors I seek in a good mixed drink without all the punch that a good bourbon or rye gives you, the aforementioned spirits are the go to for many mixed drinks especially in the good ole US of A. Today I’m talking about Armagnac the delicious distant cousin to Cognac,
When I was first made aware of the existence of the spirit, I immediately sought out which avenues I could source it. Pennsylvania makes it extremely challenging with its goofy booze laws to obtain quality stuff, but I found success and grabed a couple of bottles and begin tasting and mixing. Armagnac best lends itself to mixed drinks with bold ingredients like dried fruits and strong spices, think a good cassia cinnamon tincture or a syrup of port wine, prunes and muscavado sugar.
The taste was sharp and professional like I should’ve been sitting at a bar in Arcachon at the mercy of whatever concoctions they had on the menu and not in my Pittsburgh abode. But the entire venture of discovery, obtaining and drinking gave me a beautiful experience on an otherwise dull cold Pittsburgh winter to spring transition and now the spirit is forever in the top half of things I love to drink.