favorite cognac cocktail and we'll circle back to those in a future post.
If you're hosting your cousins'nem and you know that folks are going to be drowning your cognac with Coke or Pepsi? Keep it VS. However, if you want to dazzle and serve a punchy, top quality cocktail? Consider Louis Royer Force 53, the only 106 proof Fine Champagne VSOP. Yes, an overproof cognac. TURN UP! Personally, it's a little bit strong for me to drink straight, but it mixes beautifully and allows your cocktails to have cognac flavor without the sauce being lost (get it?)
If you'd like to invest in something to savor neat---a special bottle for special occasions, even if your "special occasion" is the Law and Order SVU episode when Alexandra Cabot comes back from pretending to be dead---or for a nice gift, I'd recommend Martell's Cordon Bleu, a gorgeous XO with eau de vie that has been aged from 10 to 25 years. It has spicy, gingery notes and a very clean finish.
D'Usse comes in an extremely beautiful bottle and is very, very easy to drink. Your aspiring rapper sorta-boyfriend will appreciate getting a bottle for his birthday. It retails for $55 and it's a VSOP, so make sure that he, too, is "very special" ( the "old and pale" part is at your discretion, but if he's old and still trying to rap, don't buy him anything---just run.)
Jamilah Lemieux is the News and Lifestyle Editor for EBONY.com. Tweet her and let her know which spirit we should cover next: @jamilahlemieux