Cocktail  anvil    2014 10 20 yykcj1

An Old Fashioned isn't so old fashioned once it's been remixed.

Cognac and music production go together like milk and cookies or peanut butter and jelly. Right? OK, maybe not, but a new event has us rethinking what composes a perfect pairing.

Recently, D’Ussé Cognac, as part of a promotional tour, held a series of events they called “Remixers” with Grammy-winning producer 9th Wonder hosting, with Bacardi ambassador and mixologist Chris Hopkins on hand to assist with making variations on classic cocktails using cognac. Similar to the Singani 63 event I attended this summer, part of the intention of the event was to demonstrate how the spirit could be used as a substitute for other liquors in cocktails, or in a broader range of cocktails than most of its drinkers traditionally

As I prefer my cocktails on the boozy, dry side, Hopkins proposed a remixed Old Fashioned. I've always found them a little sweet for my taste, but this one was excellent. Strong and medicinal but with a pleasing finish that left no aftertaste, I immediately became a fan and later would seek to recreate the cocktail myself. 

In addition to seeing the various cocktails—the event featured remixes of the Sidecar, the French 75 and the Sazerac—9th Wonder, who’s also an artist in residence at UNC-Central, and whose resumé includes lecturing at Harvard and Duke and curating exhibits at the Smithsonian and the Kennedy Center—took us behind the scenes for a little while and showed us how remixes are made. Using Pro Tools software, 9th Wonder took some songs which had each track split into an individual file so he could use it as a sample. He showed us how to use the software and equipment to lay vocal tracks from one song over instrumental tracks from another—in other words, how you create remixes of songs. I didn’t get hands-on with the equipment myself—probably for the best, since I’m the kind of person prone to drops and spills—but nonetheless, it was a really cool experience. I’m a huge music fan, and learning how to produce songs is the sort of thing I wished I knew how to do or had time to do now.

But I did have time to make my own D’Ussé Old-Fashioned Remix. Here’s hoping I can get the formula down. In the meantime, enjoy the recipe!

Old Fashioned (Remix)

  • 2 ounces D’Ussé Cognac
  • ½ ounces Benedictine
  • Squeeze of honey
  • 2-3 dashes Jamaican bitters
  • 2-3 dashes chocolate bitters

Add honey to mixing glass and stir until viscosity has broken down. Add bitters and stir until same. Add ice, cognac and Benedictine. Stir gently until cold. Strain and serve in a highball glass over ice, garnished with an orange twist.

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