The Spirit of France
Sponsored by

Thrillist's Ultimate Guide To Cognac

Sponsored by

Emperors, Kings, and The People's Republic of China -- they've all extolled the awesomeness of Cognac through the years. But we're here to break it down even further. To do that, we created the ultimate guide to the spirit, bringing you everything you need to know about what makes Cognac the real deal, a quick history lesson about Cognac's badass past, and some cocktail recipes that bring it home to the 21st century

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/greyworld/18443393803/" target="_blank">GREYWORLD/FLICKR</a>

For the uninitiated, we've got a crash course in Cognac and all the things you should know, lest you find yourself sipping on a poseur spirit made a few miles outside of the very strict Cognac borders. Yup, you can't make real cognac outside of Cognac, France. Stick with us and we'll fill you in on everything else you need to know

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/shaylor/7426883" target="_blank">Shaylor/Flickr</a>

France's spirit-soaked history does not begin and end with wine. Well, sort of. Cognac (for the uninitiated), is a type of brandy that started out as a wine in the 16th century, and it's gone through a lot since then -- including a special WWII department set up to protect it. Run through this timeline and discover the rest of cognac's pretty badass history. 

 

Anthony Humphreys/Thrillist

We didn't have to make cognac cocktails to prove how versatile this stuff is, but we did anyway -- 'cause they're damned tasty. Click through to learn how to make these recipes at home and impress your friends with your next-level bartending skills. 

Anthony Humphreys/Thrillist&nbsp;
Anthony Humphreys/Thrillist&nbsp;
Anthony Humphreys/Thrillist&nbsp;
Anthony Humphreys/Thrillist&nbsp;