In NYC this past Monday evening, July 11th, The Knockturnal joined Hennessy for a pub crawl that started at the Late Late Bar on LES, then to Suffolk Arms on the LES, and ‘night capped’ at Sanatorium in Alphabet City.
The night was fabulous, and the drinks were amazing. There’s a reason Drake quotes drinking Hennessy in One Dance…
At the Late Late Bar, the new Champs-Élysées (pictured below) was served. The drink was sweet, but not too sweet, and has that classic Hennessy finish.
The next stop was Suffolk Arms on the LES (pictured below). If I could describe the bar in one phrase, it would be: the place has character. The walls were lined with multiple open framed, beautifully delicate, pencil sketched portraits of the owner, Giuseppe Gonzalez’s favorite New Yorkers.
Here, the delicious Golden Sazerac (pictured above) was served. With a beautiful ruby red color, sweet licorice smell and taste, this drink was definitely my favorite.
Last stop on our crawl was Sanatorium (pictured below), which just opened on 14 Ave C. in Alphabet City. As you can see, the bar has a very chic and sexy vibe, and it sports medicinal cocktails.
At Sanatorium, we were served the Saffron Sazerac, (pictured above) which is made with Hennessy V.S.O.P. It’s an ultra-premium blend and stands for “Very Superior Old Pale Cognac” established in 1817. To create Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège, the brand and its Tasting Committee (Comité de Dégustation) has to combine some extremely complex variables in order to create the harmony and balance in the drink, such as the forces of nature, distillation materials, temperatures, time, selection and blending.
Mixology ambassador & Hennessy expert Tomas Delos Reyes shared some more cool history about cognac and the brand.
“In the 1850’s, there was a pest that wiped out 90% of the crops for cognac, so there was very little supply and it was too expensive in the States. So they used the closest thing to cognac: rum, whiskey, and vodka. With “Cognac Classics,” we [Hennessy] are looking to bring the cognac back to it’s original form. “Hennessy VS” is a blend of 40 eaux de vies aged for 2-4 years. The difference between it is it’s aged in New French Oak barrels. “Hennessy VSOP” was launched in 1817 as a special request by King George IV. He wrote a letter to the house of Hennessy saying, “I would love a special, superior, pale blend created just for me.” So, voila, in 1817 Hennessy VSOP was launched. Basically, you could say this blend was created for a king.”
Owner of Sanatorium Albert Trummer called Saffron Sazerac the “special New Orleans drink.” He explained that New Orleans is behind the concept of Sanatorium, because it was the first state with an alcohol pharmacy.
There is even more exciting news in the world of Hennessy!
The first-ever Cognac Classics Week kicks off this Thursday on July 14th to coincide with Bastille Day! It’ll run from July 14th to the 21st, and bartenders across New York will be crafting unique riffs on the classics, such as the French 75 and the Sazerac.
Check out the participating bars/pubs –> here.
Cognac Classics Week is part of Hennessy Cognac’s new campaign – “Harmony. Mastered from Chaos.” – the first marketing campaign for V.S.O.P Privilège in over 10 years. Pretty sick! If you’re in NYC, definitely check it out.