Whilst a third, fairly grueling lock down has once again robbed us of access to some of our favourite drinking haunts, the proverbial mountain may still come to Mohammed. Savvy bars, restaurants, drinks brands, independent bottlers and wineries have seized the opportunity to engage their loyal consumer base from the comfort of their own homes. We hail the age of the DIY cocktail pack and the virtual tasting – speaking personally it is the only thing that has kept me at least partially sane.
The Henrietta Cognac Club is another noble ally in this new onslaught and promises the succulent delights of the grape on a monthly basis. The Henrietta Hotel, found amongst the charming and labyrinthine cobbled streets of Covent Garden, is a great purveyor of cognacs – one of my own favourite digestif/aperitif/all-day-tifs. In fact, the bar at the hotel has an extensive selection of more than 50 magnificent cognacs. The hotel is eager to share its own zeal and passion for this glorious spirit which finds its roots in the 17th Century, and so on that basis, each and every month the hotel bar offers a pack to the tune of £40 which will contain two exquisite cognac miniatures, a handsomely bottled cognac based cocktail and a smart little snifter glass to aid your correct sampling of that amber nectar. The pack will also include a link to an online video masterclass, to allow you some pro insights into the spirits contained in each pack.
This month the pack contained cognacs from the globally renowned house of Hine, also known as ‘the Cognac House with a British soul’ which was founded by Thomas Hine of Dorset more than quarter of a millennium ago. Hine’s own philosophy for his cognacs was that they should be exceedingly high quality spirits with an elegant, floral and fruity flavour profile.
The two miniatures included are the Hine ‘Rare VSOP’, full of robust aromas of nectarines and ripe apricots, and the remarkable ‘Antique XO’, refined and complex with notes of dark chocolate and cedar.