Cognac Frapin announced a packaging redesign for its VSOP earlier this year, and to celebrate its launch in the UK market it has been pushing its bar-friendly credentials with a cocktail-making masterclass.
Moving away from the old ink pot-shaped bottle, the new VSOP is taller and slimmer, while still maintaining the decorative lip that runs around the bottom of the bottle. The new design means that the bottle takes up less space on the back bar, and will be easier to pick up and pour from whilst making cocktails.
Patrice Piveteau, Frapin's cellar master, led a tasting of Frapin's range, sharing how Frapin owns 240 hectares of vineyards in the Grande Champagne region. 'We started sustainable vine growing in 1991,' he shared. 'We're in the middle of harvest right now. Because we can't use sulphur in the vineyards – it would show up in the spirit – we harvest really quickly to prevent oxidation.'
He revealed that Frapin distils on the lees [yeast], 'because when you're in Grande Champagne, you need to', and how he has different ageing conditions for his cellars that are separated into two groups – dry and humid – because they provide the variability in flavour profile when all his grapes come from one particular cru.
The bartenders were then given a masterclass exploring the history of cognac cocktails in three recipes: The Harvard, Sidecar and Mata Hari. With its characters of orange zest, leather, nutmeg, tobacco and distinct floral notes, the VSOP worked well in all, but especially the Sidecar, which was made to a ratio of 45/20/20, with 5ml of sugar syrup added for good measure.
Frapin has also partnered with the Gilbert Scott and Hawksmoor Spitalfields for London Cocktail Week, so head down to either bar for a £6 cocktail, enjoying either a Frapincino (Frapin VSOP, Pedro Ximenez sherry, egg white, gomme and lemon juice) or a Land and Sea (Frapin VSOP Cognac, lemon juice, parsnip sherry, hazelnut orgeat and absinthe) respectively.
Louis Latour Agencies, 020 7409 7276