After-dinner cocktails are such a classy way to round off an evening with friends, and the French Connection cocktail is one of the easiest drinks you could possibly make. The truly awesome thing about this two-ingredient cocktail is that the combination of Cognac and amaretto actually makes a far more nuanced and intricate drink than its simple assembly would suggest.
A snifter glass makes for a very refined serve if you have it
Pair a French Connection with nutty biscotti for a light dessert
A younger cognac yields a fresher, more fruity drink
An older cognac adds barrel notes like vanilla and spice
Fill a tumbler with ice
Add the Cognac and amaretto
Stir briefly to combine
Tip: You can also serve a French Connection cocktail in a snifter glass if you have it. Some people prefer a glass with a stem, so they can get a nice swirl on.
Short & sweet history of the French Connection cocktail
The cocktail first made its way onto drinks menus in the early 1970s, when a movie with the same name hit the silver screen. Starring the enigmatic Gene Hackman, French Connection was a decade-defining action film loosely based on real events and is perhaps best known for its epic chase scene. Gene Hackman’s performance ultimately won him Academy Award, and the movie walked away with Oscars for best picture, direction, screenplay and editing.
The French Connection cocktail received a similarly warm welcome and remained a firm bar-side favourite for the better part of a decade. Since then, there has been a bit of a lull in its pop appeal, but now liqueur-plus-spirit drinks are trending once more, and we do believe the French Connection is due for a revival!
Why Cognac and amaretto work so well
Cognac and amaretto really are a match made in heaven. The sweet Italian liqueur has up-front notes of fruit and nuts because it’s made from almonds and stone-fruit pits. The cognac then adds a bright, fruity base. These two elements combine to provide a lovely and interestingly complex flavour matrix that appeals to novice cocktail drinkers and aficionados alike.
How strong is the French Connection cocktail?
The French Connection cocktail contains 30.5% ABV, which means it is 61.02% proof. By comparison, a White Russian comes in at 25% ABV. As such, this drink is quite strong, and is meant to be sipped and savoured.
The best Cognac for a French Connection cocktail
It all depends on how you like your French Connection. A younger Cognac like a VS will yield a drink with fresher, more fruity flavours, while a VSOP or XO will give you nice oak barrel notes like vanilla and spice.
We love making it with Bisquit & Dubouche VSOP Cognac that has a core of ripe fruit laced with aromas of apricot and honey, finishing on spicy notes of cinnamon and clove, and an unexpected lingering kiss of rose. However, it’s always a good call to try it with a different cognac the first few times you make it to see which combination appeals to you the most.
How to store cognac and amaretto like a pro
When storing cognac, keep the bottles upright in cool, dry place to ensure that the quality of both the cork and the cognac is maintained. The aim is to keep the contents of the bottle away from air once it has been opened. As such, you could also consider pouring it over into a smaller container once you have used some.
Amaretto, on the other hand, does not have any ingredients that tend to spoil easily. It also likes cool, dry storage spaces, so your pantry or liquor cabinet is a good call. This type of liqueur should be consumed within six months from opening if you want to keep flavour levels optimal.