COCKTAILS | The Black Feather is worth plucking
The Black Feather, a Cognac-based cocktail, is a new favorite.
As my exploration of the mixology world continues, I’ve become more and more interested in apertifs. About 10 years ago, with the St. Lawrence boys, I went through a brief and undereducated port phase. I haven’t much cared for after-dinner stuff since. But getting into the cocktails this last year, I’m increasingly drawn to drinks that call upon liqueurs to serve as bases.
So I was very attracted to the Black Feather, a Cognac-based cocktail created by Robert Hess. No education in cocktails is complete without a course in Hess, a Microsoft software guru who’s also renowned as an expert on the art of American drinking. He’s the founder of the Museum of the American Cocktail in Las Vegas, had a hand in getting the Chanticleer Society going and is the host of “The Cocktail Spirit,” a wonderful little program on the Small Screen Network.
Created by Hess as his house cocktail, the Black Feather requires all-French ingredients: Cognac, dry vermouth and Cointreau. You’ll see below that there’s quite a bit of vermouth in this drink (Hess is a big vermouth advocate), but you can scale that as you like. Don’t forget your bitters, too.
• 2 ounces Cognac or high-quality brandy
• 1 ounce dry white vermouth
• 1/2 ounce Cointreau
• 1 dash Angostura bitters
• Lemon twist for garnish
Combine Cognac, vermouth and Cointreau in a shaker and stir thoroughly. Serve in a cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist, rubbing the edge of the glass with the rind side.