Courvoisier Cocktails – Drinks for the Diamond Jubilee

The Jubilee Bank Holiday is upon us and people will, no doubt, be holding their own celebrations across the country (or even the Commonwealth), but some would argue that a party just isn’t a party without a punch. Luckily, I was recently sent a punch recipe by Courvoisier, along with the ingredients to make it, so I thought I’d give it a whirl.

Punch is a great way to share a drink with friends, as well as being very quick and easy to make and – with a little preparation – serve at a party.

Courvoisier Punch (makes one punch bowl)
250ml Courvoisier VS
750ml lemonade
20 dashes of Angostura aromatic bitters

Courvoisier Punch (makes one glass)
50ml Courvoisier VS
150ml lemonade
Four dashes of Angostura aromatic bitters

Taste:As a punch should be, this is very refreshing. If you like a slightly tarter, still (not fizzy) drink, I found that, in addition to lemon soda, still lemonade also works well. The warm complexity of the Cognac works well with the sweet spiciness of the bitters and is a nod to the fact that, historically, Cognac was a very popular base for punches.

If you are making a punch bowl of this, I’d suggest freezing a mix of lemonade and bitters in a used, but clean, butter or margarine tub in preparation. By placing one of these in the punch bowl, you will ensure that your punch is cool, without being watered down by slowly melting ice.

If you prefer a more complicated cocktail (made just for you), then why not try:

Courvoisier Rendezvous
25ml Courvoisier VS
12.5ml Bols Apricot Liqueur
1 wedge fresh lime, squeezed
12.5ml elderflower cordial
75ml lemonade

Taste: This was another pleasant cooler, with a sweet combination of dusky floral notes from the elderflower and jammy fruitiness from the apricot brandy. The flavours also add depth and complexity to the drink. The Cognac adds a sophisticated, warm note at the end, with the lime and lemonade balancing out the richness and providing refreshment.

In Conclusion
Many folks may think that cognac is just for classic short drinks such as the Sidecar or the Stinger but they also can work really well in drinks like these punches and add a touch of regality to you jubilee weekend.

Courvoisier VS Cognac is available from  al major grocery stores – RRP £23.79 for 70cl



Swedish Punsch

Swedish Punsch is a product from Sweden (surprise surprise!), based on Arack. Although it is still available, it is much harder to get hold of then it was. The Batavia Arak came from Java and South-East Asia and was made from distilled sugar cane and Javanese rice.

Sweden is a long way from this part of the world and so you may be wondering what the connection is? The answer is the Svenska Ostindiska Companiet (Swedish East India Company), which was formed after the success of the English and Dutch East India Company. Although not as influential as its counterparts, the company lasted 82 years and brought many goods back to Sweden, including the precursor to Swedish Punsch.

Tasting Swedish Punsch, I am aware of some rum-like qualities and, in fact, Cocktail Database suggests that it was often mixed with low-quality rum in order to improve the rum’s flavour. There also seems to be an on-going debate as to whether it should be served hot or cold.


The Taste

It is a straw-coloured liquid with a nose of honey and thick, dark rum. It has a wonderful texture, so thick and silky, like honey, and slides around your mouth. There’s some warmth and it’s reasonably balanced in terms of sweetness, as well as being herbal, very sippable and altogether rather delicious.After Dinner Cocktail
[30ml Swedish Punsch, 5ml Lime Juice, 15ml Cherry Brandy – SHAKE]
Superb: rather rummy, with a slightly musky start, which is followed by lime and some pleasant sweet cherry notes. I thought that this was a good palette cleanser and a fine digestif cocktail. Mrs. B was rather keen, too.

[20ml Swedish Punsch, 20ml Rye Whiskey, 20ml Dry Vermouth, 1 Dash Lemon Juice, 1 Dash angostura Bitters – STIR]
This cocktail was dark amber in colour and had a rich buttery biscuit nose. Smooth and soft initially, the flavour builds to form a rich drink with a biscuit-y nuttiness and a hint of creamy butter. Rather involved.

Doctor Cocktail
[30ml Swedish Punsch, 20ml Lime Juice – SHAKE]
To me, this tasted strongly of dark sugar, almond and cherry stones. There was also a spice, similar to allspice or pimento, that works well with the slightly tart lime.

100% Cocktail
[35ml Swedish Punsch, 10ml Ornage Juice, 5ml Lemon Juice, 1 Dash Grenadine – Shake]
Rather sweet, the strong flavour of the punch is combined with a little jammy pomegranate in this cockail. The citrus juices liven up the drink, making it rather succulent.

Pooh Bah Cocktail
[15ml Swedish Punsch, 15ml Gin, 15ml Light Rum, 5ml Apricot Brandy – STIR]
This had a thick flavour: herbal and quite sweet. It may be too sickly for some, but the Dry Gin does even it out a little. This straw-yellow drink is rather liqueur-like and seems to be a relic of a time when bar patrons had a sweeter palette.

[10ml Swedish Punsch, 30ml Calvados, 10ml Light Rum – STIR]
Fruity, with a sweet herbal finish. There’s a good dry/sweet balance, with a hint of light butteriness.

[15ml Swedish Punsch, 15ml Light Rum, 10ml Lemon Juice, 10ml Orange Juice – SHAKE]
Fresh and fruity, with a slight, but not unpleasant, muskiness. I noted flavours of soft, burnt sugar and spice that was rather appetite-rousing.

In Conclusion
Both Mrs. B and I thought this was a very interesting product, rather unique with the nearest substitute being Pimento Dram, but that’s a bit of a stretch.
My favourite drinks was the Roulette and Mrs. B’s was the After Dinner.