NEW YORK, Dec. 21, 2017 — This upcoming holiday season, infuse your dinner parties with a little je-ne-sais-quoi by surprising your guests with mouth-watering Pineau des Charentes cocktails. Sip on this fortified wine blended with cognac on cold winter nights, mix it with amaro or rum to kick off happy hour or pair it with oysters for an added touch of sophistication.

Check your preconceived notions at the door and fully embrace Pineau des Charentes this holiday season. Fresh, sweet and fruit-forward, this fine wine can be white, red or rosé depending on the grape variety. While it can surely be enjoyed on its own as an aperitif or as a pairing with French cheeses such as a light blue cheese or a chèvre, Pineau des Charentes is also gaining traction as a key cocktail ingredient.

“What I love about Pineau des Charentes is its versatility,” says Ms. Franky Marshall, NYC bartender and Bar Director at Le Boudoir, Brooklyn. “It works very well as a base spirit or modifier, and is easily incorporated into classic and modern cocktails.”

To look like a seasoned mixologist minus the experience, follow one of these easy recipes:

Ciel Rouge: Lively, fresh, and goes down easy

  • 1 oz red Pineau des Charentes
  • 0.5 oz aged rum
  • 0.25 oz China China amer
  • 0.5 oz toasted orgeat
  • 0.5 oz fresh lime juice

Add all ingredients to mixing tin.
Give a short, easy shake.
Strain into Julep Glass over pebble ice.
Garnish: Two dashes Angostura bitters, one lively mint sprig.

Quai des Brumes: When the occasion calls for something more spirit forward

  • 0.75 oz rosé Pineau des Charentes
  • 1 oz rye whiskey (40% ABV)
  • .25 oz Averna Amaro
  • 1 barspoon Amaro Sfumato

Add all ingredients to mixing glass.
Stir with ice.
Strain into rocks glass over one large cube of ice.
Garnish: Flamed and discarded orange disc.

Martinelle: Because martinis never get old

  • 1 oz Old white Pineau des Charentes
  • 1 oz London Dry Gin
  • 0.5 oz Génépy des Alpes
  • 2 dashes absinthe
  • 1 drop orange citrate bitters

Add all ingredients to mixing glass.
Stir with ice until cold.
Strain into Nick and Nora or cocktail glass.
Garnish: Expressed lemon twist placed on side of glass.

With a combined fruitiness and bold Cognac kick, Pineau des Charentes is the ideal partner for any holiday party, big or small. Open yourself to its aromatic palette and be creative in its usage. Because nothing beats a good winter cocktail with family and friends.

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