Selecting cocktails for your bar or restaurant is a big deal. The right choices attract and retain customers. The wrong choices can scare people away — and that makes it difficult to maintain a good restaurant profit margin.
Just as there are many food pairings for Port Wine and other drinks, there are plenty of combinations that make sense with Cognac.
In this article, we outline a handful of Cognac food pairing options to offer at your restaurant.
Cognac Food Pairing: Start With These Ideas
As you review the many types of food menus to provide your customers, you’ll soon realize the importance of also considering your beverage list.
When it comes to Cognac food pairing, here are seven ideas that will wow your customers and keep them coming back.
Key takeaway: Carefully consider your Cognac food pairing selections. Variety and price are important, as are the unique tastes of your customer base.
A popular pairing, dark chocolate and Cognac share intense flavors that complement each other. It’s one of the types of chocolate that has both sweetness and bitterness which balances with the fruitiness and oakiness of cognac, creating a rich, complex flavor experience. Both have a long finish, allowing their flavors to mingle and evolve together.
This classic French delicacy pairs well with Cognac due to its rich, creamy texture and unique flavor. The alcohol in the cognac cuts through the richness, while its fruit and spice notes accentuate the savory nuances of the foie gras.
The strong, pungent flavors of blue cheese are mellowed by the sweet, fruity elements of Cognac. The creaminess of the cheese contrasts with the smooth, warming finish of the cognac, making for a harmonious match.
The strong, robust flavors of roasted duck stand up well to a powerful, flavorful Cognac. The fruity and spicy notes in the Cognac complement the savory and slightly sweet duck, enhancing both the food and the drink.
Dried Fruits and Nuts
The sweet, concentrated flavors of dried fruits like apricots, figs, and raisins pair well with the rich, complex notes in cognac. Nuts like almonds and walnuts add a contrasting crunch, and their natural oils smooth the Cognac's warming alcohol.
Aside from steak wine pairing options, you may want to consider pairing steak with cognac. A well-cooked steak with its rich, savory flavors and caramelized exterior pairs excellently with a full-bodied cognac. The Cognac's fruity and smoky notes enhance the steak's flavors, and the alcohol helps to cut through the steak's fattiness.
The caramelized sugar top and creamy vanilla custard of creme brulee find a perfect partner in Cognac. The spirit's sweet and smoky flavors resonate with the dessert's caramel and vanilla, creating a luxurious finish to a meal.
Cognac and Desserts
Many people enjoy drinking Cognac alongside a tasty post-meal treat. Here are some desserts that you can pair with this drink.
Dark Chocolate Mousse
The bitter-sweet taste of dark chocolate complements the rich, complex flavor profile of Cognac. The velvety texture of the mousse enhances the smooth, lingering finish of the spirit.
The caramelized sugar top of a crème brûlée echoes the natural sweetness of Cognac, while the creamy custard base balances out the alcohol's heat, resulting in a harmonious pairing.
Cognac's dried fruit and spice notes interact splendidly with the coffee and cocoa flavors in tiramisu. The dessert's creamy richness also mellows the spirit's robust strength.
Chocolate Fondant Cake
The dense, rich chocolate of the cake pairs well with Cognac's fruity and spicy notes. The warm, molten center of the cake accentuates Cognac's long, smooth finish.
The nutty flavors and caramel notes in pecan pie mirror many of the secondary flavors found in Cognac. The spirit also cuts through the pie's sweetness, bringing balance to the palate.
Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
Vanilla bean's subtly sweet, floral notes bring out cognac's similarly nuanced vanilla undertones. The rich, creamy texture of the cheesecake complements the smooth, warming qualities of the Cognac.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
The deep caramel and brown sugar flavors of sticky toffee pudding resonate with the warm, toasted sugar notes found in Cognac. The dessert's richness is beautifully tempered by the spirit's vibrant fruit and spice character.
Apple Tarte Tatin
The caramelized apples and flaky pastry of a tarte tatin pair wonderfully with cognac's apple and pear notes. The spirit's warmth contrasts with the dessert's light, fruity sweetness.
Poached Pears in Red Wine
The soft, wine-soaked pears highlight the grape essence inherent to Cognac, while the dessert's spices accentuate the spirit's complex spice notes. The fruity dessert is a delicate balance to Cognac's richer flavors.
Almond Cognac nutty, lightly sweet character pairs well with the nut and fruit flavors in cognac. The dry, crunchy texture of the biscotti also provides a pleasing contrast to the spirit's smooth, full body.
The combination of ripe strawberries and dark chocolate resonates with Cognac's berry and cocoa notes. The dessert's sweetness and acidity complement the spirit's balance of sugar and tartness.
The rich, creamy, dark chocolate truffles complement Cognac's complex array of flavors. The bitter cocoa notes offset the cognac's fruity sweetness, creating a decadent pairing.
The coffee, almond, and chocolate layers of an opera cake match perfectly with Cognac's nutty, fruity, and toasty notes. The cake's multi-layered complexity is echoed by the depth and intricacy of the Cognac.
Chocolate Hazelnut Tart
The indulgent combination of chocolate and hazelnuts in the tart mirrors the chocolate and nutty flavors often found in Cognac. The dessert's sweet richness is balanced by the spirit's warming, spicy notes.
Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce
The warm, comforting flavors of bread pudding pair perfectly with Cognac's vanilla and caramel tones. The caramel sauce's sweetness accentuates the spirit's own natural sugars.
The tartness of cherries in a clafoutis and the dessert's custardy texture provide a delightful contrast to Cognac's warm, fruity sweetness and smooth mouthfeel.
Raspberry Chocolate Tart
The tart's tangy raspberry coulis cuts through the smooth, rich chocolate, mirroring Cognac's balance of sweetness and acidity. Cognac's berry notes are accentuated by the raspberry's bright flavors.
Fig and Honey Tart
The sweet, earthy taste of figs in the tart meshes well with Cognac's honey and dried fruit notes. The tart's richness is contrasted nicely by the spirit's complex character and smooth finish.
Caramel Apple Pie
The buttery crust and sweet-tart apples in caramel apple pie echo the sweet, fruity, and slightly nutty notes of Cognac. The pie's warm caramel undertones bring out the spirit's caramel and vanilla flavors.
Dark Chocolate Ganache Tart
The intense richness of dark chocolate ganache marries well with the bold, fruity, and spicy notes of Cognac. The bitter undertones of the tart offset the spirit's sweetness, making for a decadent and balanced pairing.
Do you currently have any of these items on your dessert menu? Could you easily add a handful to better suit the many Cognac connoisseurs who visit your establishment?
Frequently Asked Questions About Cognac Food Pairings
Even with the above information, it’s likely that you have questions about food pairing with Cognac. Here are some frequently asked questions that can help clear the air.
What type of chocolate pairs best with cognac?
Dark chocolate, preferably with a cocoa content of 70% or higher, pairs best with Cognac. The intense flavors of the chocolate balance well with the rich, fruity, and oaky flavors of the Cognac.
Can cognac be paired with seafood dishes?
Yes, cognac can be paired with certain seafood dishes, particularly those with rich, bold flavors like lobster or scallops in creamy sauces. The Cognac's complex flavors and high alcohol content can stand up to and complement these dishes.
What type of dessert pairs well with cognac?
Rich, creamy desserts that contain caramel, vanilla, or chocolate flavors, such as crème brûlée or chocolate ganache tart, pair excellently with Cognac. These desserts' flavors resonate with the sweet and complex notes of the Cognac.
Is cognac typically paired with cheeses?
Yes, Cognac pairs wonderfully with a variety of cheeses, particularly strong, aged cheeses like blue cheese or gouda. The creaminess of the cheese contrasts with the smooth, warming finish of the cognac, making for a harmonious cheese pairing match.
Offer the Right Food With Cognac
Don’t serve just any food alongside Cognac. Serve Cognac food pairings that will knock the socks off your customers. You want the customer experience to be so great that they come back time after time.
Once you’ve decided what your drink and food menus should look like, learn more about BinWise and BlueCart. Both of these applications can help you with restaurant or bar management. With that, you can focus more time on the details that drive customer engagement and customer satisfaction.
The BinWise Pro platform, when used alongside the BinScan mobile app, can bring efficiency to your inventory program. Furthermore, the BlueCart order management system allows you to preemptively manage orders, calculate your reorder point, and strategize for potential food supply chain disruptions.
The right Cognac food pairing choices can do wonders for your restaurant!