Bartender Seth Allen of The Late Late in Manhattan.

Cognac is a very sophisticated spirit that many indulge in when they want to feel sexy. With a growing popularity across all cultures, it would only make sense to have to have a whole week dedicated to this cultivated brandy and it kicks off May 22nd.

May not only initiates the unofficial start of summer, it is also a time when Cognac enthusiasts can celebrate their favorite spirit. For the second year in a row, Hennessy exalts their Cognac love by hosting a pub crawl highlighting their V.S.O.P grade. On this pub crawl, Cognac devotees like myself had the opportunity to learn more about the legacy of Hennessy while gaining a better understanding about the specific grapes used in the aging process.

So of course when you hear pub crawl the first thing that may come to mind is downright fun (which we had), yet with the finesse that Hennessy represents.

On this pub crawl, there were three stops starting in the Lower East Side and ending in Tribeca, that featured three distinct cocktails using Hennessy V.S.O.P.

The Late Late on 159 E Houston Street was the first stop on this tour. Here is where we met Jordan Bushell (Head of Hennessy’s US Mixology & Brand Experience), who hosted the evening & walked us through each step.

Bartender Seth Allen of The Late Late in Manhattan.

The first drink was the V.S.O.P Rickey and it was very tangy. Tangy is usually not a word used to describe V.S.O.P cocktails but this one was unique. It featured crushed raspberries with limes and (my favorite part) topped with MOET Champagne. Bet you wasn’t expecting me to say MOET, well imagine my reaction when I tasted it. Incredible!

The bubbles from the champagne complimented the raspberries perfectly and the heaviness from the V.S.O.P grounded the drink, making it the last taste to hit my palette. This drink is ideal for the summer, it just screams 4th of July Fireworks.

SweetWater social cheers

The next stop was SweetWater Social on 643 Broadway.  This location had a downstairs entrance, which evoked my curiosity even more. Here we tasted The Hennessy Highball. This cocktail was straight to the point, presenting half V.S.O.P, club soda and lemon slice. This drink is for the person who genuinely appreciates the essence of a V.S.O.P. Combing the club soda made it very easy for one to taste the earthy and oak notes that are associated with a cognac, yet light enough to pair with any meal.

The Hennessy Highball

After my second glass don’t judge me, it was time to make our way to the last stop Distilled.

The team at Distilled welcomed us with plenty of snacks and food before we tasted our final cocktail. The final cocktail Dauphine Special was very distinctive compared to the other two.

Examining the dark hue of the Dauphine Special with the lemon peel peaking through was a clear indication that this was going to be a Cognac lovers paradise. This drink came in a smaller glass and had no ice which made it seamless to inhale the aromas from the V.S.O.P. I was instantly captivated by a vanilla and cinnamon smell causing my taste buds to water.

The taste was extremely good! First two seconds of tasting the drink the sweetness took over, then came the slight bitterness that comes with all Cognacs.  Lastly, the sourness from the lemon peel tied it all together. No wonder they saved this for last, because it was the best!

This cocktail allowed you to truly smell and taste the many layers that make Hennessy V.S.O.P special.  Don’t be afraid to venture out to these places and test these cocktails for yourself & don’t forget who sent you!!