cognac-punch-swizzle
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If you think of cognac only as that bottle gathering dust in the back of your liquor cabinet, it’s time to reconsider. This spirit’s depth and complexity make it the ideal base for a warming winter cocktail, as in this fruity, peppery punch swizzle from cocktail expert Shyretha Sheats. Where a traditional punch recipe might call for orgeat (almond syrup), Sheats substitutes a creamy condensed milk and pineapple syrup for a tropical vibe. The syrup’s yield is party-size (about 2 cups): Scale up the rest of the ingredients for 12 servings, then batch the drink into a punch bowl, or make just a couple of servings and save the extra syrup for drizzling over ice cream or pound cake. Sheats loves Pierre Ferrand cognac, particularly the Ambré or the 1840 Original Formula, for its quality and price point.

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Ingredients

Syrup

1

cup pineapple juice

1

cup sugar

1

sprig sage

1

sprig thyme

30

black peppercorns

1

cup sweetened condensed milk

Assembly

oz. cognac (preferably Pierre Ferrand Ambré or 1840 Original Formula)

¾

¾

oz. fresh lemon juice

1

tsp. absinthe

Angostura bitters and orange twist (for serving)

Preparation

Syrup

Step 1

Bring pineapple juice, sugar, and 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Cook until reduced by half and slightly thickened, 8–10 minutes. Remove from heat and add sage, thyme, and peppercorns. Let sit 10 minutes. Strain syrup through a fine-mesh sieve into a large measuring glass or small bowl; discard solids. Let cool completely, then stir in condensed milk. Chill pineapple syrup until cold, at least 30 minutes.

Do ahead: Syrup can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and keep chilled.

Assembly

Step 2

To make 1 cocktail, combine cognac, aperitivo, lemon juice, absinthe, and ¾ oz. pineapple syrup in a Collins glass. Fill halfway with crushed ice. Using a bar spoon or other long-handled spoon, mix by rotating handle between your palms until cocktail is combined and glass is frosty. Fill to rim with more crushed ice. Top with a few dashes of bitters and garnish with an orange twist.