While brandy might not come to mind when you think of cocktails — more specifically, classic cocktails that you can make at home — if Jeff Menashe has anything to say about it, you will be thinking about the category very soon.
That’s because Menashe, a wine and spirits entrepreneur, is introducing a new product, Bertoux Brandy, in an effort to make brandy cocktails great again.
Bertoux is a Solera-style blend of pot-distilled California fine brandies aged three to seven years in French and American oak then bottled at 40 percent alcohol by volume. To create the blend, Menashe worked with legendary bartender Jeff Bell (PDT and Legacy Records) and sommelier Thomas Pastuszak (The NoMad).
Bell and Pastuszak helped guide the brandy-blending process from barrel to glass in an effort to create a spirit that was not only an ode to brandies of the past (and could work in the cocktails of the time), but also one that could help take the category into the future by functioning as an integral component in contemporary cocktails as well.
“It’s been exciting to be part of the creation of Bertoux Brandy,” Bell said in a statement. “As a bartender, we blend cocktails that are to be consumed in that moment. With a spirit, we are creating a blend that will be aged and enjoyed years down the line. As a blender, you have to extrapolate from what you are tasting in the present, which will continue to evolve and develop before bottling. Bertoux Brandy offers today’s bartenders an elegant and flavorful option for their mixological arsenal that we hope makes brandy relevant to a whole new generation and revives it at the forefront of cocktail culture.”
Bertoux brandy takes its name from Jean Bertoux, a French inventor who, in 1892, designed and patented a way to modify bicycles to accommodate a passenger — in other words, he invented the sidecar. This idea was soon adopted by the cocktail world and the brandy sidecar was born.
According to the release, Bertoux has “candied apricot, orange blossom and honeysuckle, nutmeg, and a gentle toast character” on the nose, which lead to a bright and juicy palate that is rich in citrus and floral components. Pastuszak calls Bertoux “youthful yet mature, energetic yet resolved. We are building on the world’s brandy making history, but introducing a style that has never existed in the spirits realm before.”
Bertoux will be available starting this fall in select on-premise accounts and in stores in New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. A 750ml bottle will be sold for around $45. If you need a cocktail to get you started, check out the Sidecar, which is perhaps the most classic of all classic brandy cocktails.
- 1.5 oz Bertoux Brandy
- .5 oz Cointreau
- .75 oz lemon juice
- .25 oz simple syrup
Method: Pour all ingredients into cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.