In the world of Cognac, Hennessy is one of four key players. And it's undeniable that Hennessy is one of the largest worldwide producers of Cognac at an average of over 100 million bottles sold each year. But if you're scratching your head about what Hennessy is, what Cognac is, what is tastes like, or how you drink it—scratch no more. Take a glance at how to enjoy Hennessy on its own, with a mixer or two, or even in some standout cocktails.
What Is Hennessy? What Does Hennessy Taste Like?
Hennessy is one of the four main Cognac houses in France. It's a brandy. All Cognac is brandy, but not all brandy is Cognac. For Hennessy to be Cognac, the distillers follow strict regulations, traditions, and production guidelines. Hennessy is perhaps the most well known of the Cognac names, and to enjoy a glass of Hennessy is to sip a glass of history. This distillery has been making Cognac for over 250 years.
The flavors you find in each glass of historical, old-world Hennessy are comfortably predictable with each sip. Smooth, with citrus and honey notes, there's a full-bodied taste with a gentle bite and the slightest bit of sweetness that lingers. As close to classic brandy flavors as you can get, Hennessy doesn't hold back on the spiced flavors that make a Cognac so loveable.
How to Drink Hennessy
There's no one way to enjoy Hennessy. You can enjoy this Cognac neat, on the rocks, or with a splash of water. But Hennessy is just as tasty with a mixer or stirred into a cocktail.
Another great place to start is by swapping bourbon for Hennessy in drinks. You can also use Hennessy as a base spirit in the Moscow Mule, Manhattan, Paloma, bramble, margarita, or even a mint julep. Of course, you can always use Hennessy in a classic Cognac cocktail.
Hennessy Mixer Ideas
Just a few ounces and a splash are all it takes to take your Hennessy from a simple experience to a cocktail. Try these mixers:
- Ginger ale
- Apple cider
- Pineapple juice
- Cranberry juice
- Orange juice
- Simple syrup
- Ginger beer
- Orange liqueur
- Lime juice
- Lemon juice
- Club soda
- Iced tea
- Grapefruit juice
- Sweet vermouth
- Pear juice
Say hello to your new honey, your new sweetheart, your new beau—this Hennessy cocktail.
Walking After Midnight
Pacing around the house? Looking for a smooth nightcap that won't tip the scales? Take a walk to the bar cart and whip this up instead.
- 1 ounce Hennessy
- ½ ounce vanilla liqueur
- 1½ ounces cranberry juice
- ¼ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Cocktail cherry for garnish
- In a cocktail shaker, add ice, Hennessy, vanilla liqueur, cranberry juice, and lemon juice.
- Shake to chill.
- Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.
- Garnish with a cocktail cherry.
Dip your toes into the golden elixir that is Hennessy. Enjoy it neat or on the rocks first, so you can fully familiarize yourself with the flavors in each sip. Then, master the art of the Hennessy cocktail. Or allow these recipes to guide you as you learn the ropes as you set sail on a sea of Cognac.