NATIONAL COGNAC DAY
Each year on June 4th, brandy lovers and distillers celebrate National Cognac Day. A well-known variety of brandy, Cognac was named after the town of Cognac in France in which it is produced. The region is also known for vineyards and producing wine.
A distilled brandy must meet certain legal requirements within the production to bear the name Cognac. One requirement during production includes the use of a particular variety of grape. The primary grape used is Ugni Blanc. Additionally, the brandy needs to be distilled twice in copper pot stills. Distillers must also age the brandy at least two years in French oak barrels from Limousin or Troncais. However, most distillers age their cognacs much longer than the minimum legal requirement.
Producers create close to 200 cognacs to choose from. According to one 2008 estimate, more than 90% of cognac for the U.S. market comes from only four producers.
There are also different ways of drinking cognac. Enjoying the spirit on its own, it may be savored neat or over ice. Cognac may even be diluted with a little water. However, cognac may also be used to create a variety of cocktails, too. Distillers also use cognac to create other liqueurs and mixers create even more variety to their bar collection.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalCognacDay
Celebrate the day by savoring a glass of cognac. You can also enjoy a cocktail using a cognac-based liqueur or aperitif as an ingredient. Some examples include:
- Grand Marnier – made from cognac and distilled essence of bitter orange
- Pineau des Charentes – a sweet aperitif, composed of eau-de-vie and grape must
- Domaine De Canton – cognac-based ginger liqueur
- Dutch brandy (Vieux) – Dutch imitation cognac, usually containing some cognac
Share your favorite way to savor cognac by using #NationalCognacDay to post on social media.
As you savor your Cognac, learn more about Protected Beverages.
NATIONAL COGNAC DAY HISTORY
National Day Calendar continues to research the origins of this beverage holiday. In the meantime, enjoy exploring these other spirited holidays:
June 4th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History
The Pulitzer Prize issues its first awards. In the category of biography, Laura E. Richards, Maude H. Elliot and Florence Hall win for their biography of Julia Ward Howe. The first prize for history is awarded to Jean Jules Jusserand for With Americans of Past and Present Days. The first prize for journalism is awarded to Herbert B. Swope from the New York World.
Inventor and owner of the grocery store owner, Sylvan Goldman introduces one of the world’s first shopping carts. The invention allowed shoppers to conveniently purchase more product at one time. It also caused dings in cars, wobbly wheels and led to the invention of the cart corral.
Three Berkeley scientists cloned DNA from the extinct quagga. They used a preserved museum sample to duplicate strands of the DNA. Their study of the quagga DNA identified the animal was more like the zebra than the horse.
Bruce Springsteen releases the album Born in the U.S.A. Its title song becomes both a patriotic and protest song
June 4th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays
Constance Applebee – 1873
The athletic British woman co-founded The United States Field Hockey Association in 1922. She served as the athletic director at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania and also founded Sportswoman Magazine in 1924.
Beno Gutenberg – 1889
The American seismologist worked with Charles Richter to develop a method for measuring an earthquake’s intensity.
Gaylor Nelson – 1916
Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1962, Gaylord Nelson proposed Earth Day as a way to spur national efforts to raise environmental awareness. The first Earth Day took place on April 22, 1970.
Ruth Westheimber – 1928
Before the German-American therapist became known for her advice about intimacy on talk shows and in books, Dr. Ruth survived the Holocaust and was a former sniper.