Cognac Cocktail Recipe

The Cognac Cocktail is a variation on the original cocktail, which simply consisted of any spirit, sugar, bitters, and a bit of water. The Whiskey Cocktail (and eventually the Old-Fashioned) went on to become much more famous than any of its counterparts, but this recipe can substitute nearly any spirit in place of the Cognac and be an authentic, historically-accurate cocktail. While it would traditionally be stirred and served up, feel free to serve it on the rocks instead.


2 oz Cognac
1 tsp gum or simple syrup
2 dashes bitters (Angostura are pretty close to period-accurate)
Lemon peel for garnish

Preparation: How to make a Cognac Cocktail

  1. Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice until chilled, then strain into a squat wineglass (a cocktail glass is also fine).
  2. Cut a piece of fresh lemon peel, squeeze the oils into the glass, and drop it in.