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Cognac & Tonic – The Perfect 6pm Treat

cognac & tonicGin & Tonic has been around since the days of The Raj and nowadays is often drunk as a precursor to dinner.  But tonic goes well with a number of spirits so this summer is a good time to try something different.  How about a simple cognac & tonic?  It is such a delicious, refreshing libation to enjoy.


Cognac & Tonic

Mix three parts tonic water with one part cognac. Serve over ice in a red wine glass with a slice of lemon.


And if that is to your liking, you can always replace the cognac with calvados to make Calvados & Tonic.

This month we have three spirits on offer and all can be enjoyed with tonic and a slice of lemon.

Mosgaard Organic Dry Gin

Hermitage 2010 Grande Champagne Cognac

Toutain Reserve 3 Year Old Calvados

Hermitage 1900 Cognac Gift Set, Ideal For Christmas

1900 CognacHow many people can claim to have tasted a cognac distilled at the turn of the last century?  Well, this is your chance!  Our extra special Gift Set comprises a 20Cl bottle of 1900 cognac from the top cru and one of our exclusive Hermitage Cognacs tulip-shaped tasting glasses.  The Hermitage 1900 Grande Champagne was found in an old cellar, the owners of which ceased making cognac many years ago, so it really was a rare and exclusive find.

Although presented at the higher strength of 47.5 % abv, its long ageing in oak barrels has produced an exceptionally well-balanced cognac.  A hint of tobacco with almond, medlar, mangosteen and dry spice aromas lead to a powerful attack on the palate of dry fruit and spices.   There are also many other complex flavours being experienced at the same time including green walnuts, mangosteen, mace and cucumber.


This really is a once in a lifetime experience!

World Calvados Day Thursday 20th October

World Calvados DayToday Thursday, 20th October, is World Calvados Day.  If you would like to try this fabulous French apple brandy how about making something different?  Calvados and tonic is France’s answer to the G&T and is a staple in Normandy.  Although traditionally served chilled, it is just as fabulous with heaps of ice, a ton of tonic and a simple lemon twist producing a drink that’s “A little bitter and sweet, refreshing and bright”.


Serving: 1

Garnish: lemon twist

  1. Pour the Calvados into a Burgundy glass over ice.
  2. Top with tonic water.
  3. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Reproduced from Punch.

Negroni Week 3 – 9 October 2022

NegroniNegroni Week was originally scheduled to take place on 12-18 September brand but it will now take place in the UK on 3-9 October 2022.  The aperitivo brand, Campari, put all marketing activities in the UK on hold in the days following the Queen’s death on 8 September, including the week-long annual celebration of the Italian cocktail.

Brad Madigan, managing director, commented “Whilst it felt appropriate to postpone Negroni Week in the UK, out of respect for Her Majesty the Queen, we are looking forward to being able to celebrate the landmark occasion of the 10-year anniversary with lovers of this cocktail across the country.”  Over the past decade, this special week has raised more than US$3 million for charitable organisations.

Our classic Negroni recipe is:

Latest Hermitage Releases

HermitageWe have recently added two new, exciting releases to our Hermitage Cognac stable, both distilled over 50 years ago.

The 1975 comes from the region near St Preuil, in central Grande Champagne.

An enchanting cognac, it has flavours of clove, turmeric and blackberry complemented by thyme, rosemary, pork crackle with white truffle and kumquats on the tail.

Less than a barrel of this fine, rare cognac exists.

The 1972 vintage comes from Petite Champagne where it has been mellowing in its oak cask for almost 40 years and although its strength is 45% abv, it has a sublime balance.

Petite Champagne cognacs are often lighter than cognacs from their neighbour, Grande Champagne.

This is particularly true in the east of the cru, from where this 1972 originates.

Hermitage 2010 GC Cognac Replaces 2005 Vintage

2010“All good things must come to an end” is a much used axiom which certainly applies to our Hermitage 2005 Vintage.  What a huge success it has been over the past few years!   A Gold Award winner at the Cognac Masters, its popularity went from strength to strength but of course the stocks depleted accordingly.  Our entry level vintages from the Chez Richon region have all been great successes – 1999, 2000 & 2005 – and we feel sure the new 2010 will be just as sought after.

Distilled at the turn of the last decade, this recent arrival is still in cask, ensuring that its flavours continue to mature ….. initial mocha on the palate leads to toffee and spices such as mace with apricot and mandarin on the finish.  We always like to see a Grande Champagne Cognac aged for a minimum of 10 years, as cognacs from this cru take longer to mature than those from other crus; the 2010 is already in its eleventh year.  Retailing at under £70, its the perfect summer treat and if you’ve not owned a vintage cognac before, this is the perfect excuse to try one!


Hermitage 50 Year Old Wins The Cognac Trophy 2021

Cognac Trophy 2021Following our unprecedented tally of medals at the International Wines and Spirits Competition (IWSC) 2021 we are delighted to announce that the Hermitage 50 Year Old Grande Champagne Cognac has also been awarded the overall Cognac Trophy 2021.  it was the best cognac in the competition with a Gold Outstanding Award and a combined judges’ score of 99 points out of 100.

Our MD, who is one of the UK’s leading authorities on the subject, spoke as results were announced.

“We work tirelessly to find the very best that the region has to offer, from family growers who have these precious cognacs stashed away. Being awarded results like these is a welcome vindication of our standards and the outstanding quality which is available if you know where to look.”

Panel Chairman at the IWSC Joel Harrison praised the levels of quality in this round of judging.

“Given the history and heritage in Cognac, as well as the undoubted consistency of the major houses, it is a real joy through the IWSC judging to discover unique and individual bottlings such as these, packed with personality and flavour, that often defy their age. In a category with such high standards, it must be recognised how much of an achievement attaining medals and accolades of this standard is.”

The judges described our 50 Year Old (Grande Champagne) thus:

“Like opening an old leather-bound book or antique oak armoire. Figgy pudding and rich dark chocolate; wonderful rich spices and the bitterness of orange zest come through on the palate. Spicy but gentle and supremely dry.”

It is a magnificent cognac that will also make a wonderfully special 50th birthday or anniversary gift.


Hermitage 1890 Grande Champagne Cognac

18901890We are always excited by a new arrival, especially when it is one from the nineteenth century!  Our Hermitage Paradis1890 Grande Champagne Cognac is the fourth addition to our Paradis range and has just taken pride of place on our shelves.  To add some historical context, 1890 was the year that England witnessed the first official County Cricket match when Yorkshire beat Gloucestershire by 8 wickets.

This remarkable cognac has spent more than 80 years in its oak cask slowly developing its rich aromas and complex flavours. There are aromas of marmalade, thyme, banana and spices with a rich and lovely complexity of flavours including mandarin, toffee brittle, allspice, marmalade, gingerbread and roasted nut flavours.  Beautifully balanced, the flavours surround the tongue with a rich velvet softness which enhances the intense ‘rancio’.

And you can hear our MD, David Baker, talking about this cognac and the history of Hermitage as a brand on Food FM’s The Drinking Hour with David Kermode.  Select Episode 8 and tune in at 38 minutes, it’s very educational!


IWSC – Six of the World’s Best Cognacs

Best CognacsThere can be few spirits with such an illustrious pedigree and premium connotations as Cognac.”  Following the last International Wine and Spirit’s Competition (IWSC) a list of the world’s six best cognacs was compiled.  How very pleasing it was to read that our Hermitage 2008 Grande Champagne Cognac was listed as one of them.  We have always known that this is a very special cognac.  Relatively youthful for one from the premier cru, it is just 10 years old, single-cask, single-estate and very expensive, but it is also one in a million.  The IWSC described it as “Fresh and powerful with a wealth of flavours delivered through a very expressive and complex set of aromas on the palate. Luscious leather, ginger and rancio notes are boldly evident and intricately balanced with cherry stones and warming spice.”  Being single-cask, availability is diminishing fast so if you would like to taste it for yourself, don’t hang about.  If you are interested in finding out more about single-cask cognacs take a look at our latest Technical Topic here.

Hermitage 1990 GC Cognac Wins Masters Medal

masterThe Cognac Masters 2021 results have just been announced and we are thrilled to report that our new Hermitage 1990 Grande Champagne Cognac, presented at 47% abv, received a Masters Medal.  Only 9 of these, the highest possible medal, were awarded in the entire competition so this is particularly pleasing.  You can read about all the results here, in the May 2021 edition of The Spirits Business  magazine starting on page 49.

Judges’ comments include:

Complex and superbly balanced ~~~ Silky smooth texture ~~~ Really long and expressive

In other news, we have recently added Hermitage 10 Year Old Grande Champagne Cognac to our portfolio and it will replace the Provenance 10 Grande Champagne Cognac in the range.