Last Thursday 19 May, Martell introduced a new cognac experience at Hyde At 53M. Hidden from the masses, the speakeasy-themed bar was the perfect setting for the cognac giant to reintroduce the intimate crowd – consisting of media personnel and avid cognac drinkers – to Martell’s signature products such as VSOP, Cordon Blue, and the Martell Intense Heat which is a Martell Cordon Blue Limited Edition Cognac (a special cognac made from the same blend as Cordon Bleu, yet inspired by wood and heat) as explained by Martell’s brand ambassador, Pierre Boyer.
However, the real surprise for the brand that night came with introducing cognac-cocktails. You see, cognac, much like whisky, was preferred neat or on-the-rocks in the past. But as times have changed, and so has the way drinkers enjoy their medicine.
Last year, we saw Martell’s NCF – the brand’s first non-chill filtered cognac – being introduced together with the Martell Ice-Pool, a two-tier tray that adds to the hazy quality of the drink by releasing ice-blue mist. Last Thursday’s event on the contrary was less of a party atmosphere brought on by bright lights and impressive bottle-presentations, but instead focused on the interesting cocktail recipes invented with Martell. As part of the event, the crowd (and us) even got to try making our own drinks behind the bar. Martell wants its drinkers to explore new ways of consuming their products, and there’s no way more humble and better than trying it out yourself. Now at least we know that there’s a special spoon for crushing mint leaves for cocktails. Hey, don’t blame us for being on the served-side of the bar for the past two decades.
The smooth and reassuring taste of cognac actually works well as a base for cocktails. It’s definitely something new to experiment with. For our creation that night, we were a bit tame though, and followed one of Martell’s recommended recipes, The Mint Juliet (crushed mint leaves, blueberries, Martell VSOP, and lots of ice).
Either way, as with all things in the consumer market, whether sipped traditionally or done as cocktails, there’s no right or wrong. We’re interested to see how Martell evolves its brand in the future.
To find out more about Martell, head over to their website or Facebook Page, or if you want to jump right in to making cognac-cocktails, checkout our favourite recipes in the ‘7 Most Curious Cocktails’ made from cognac.