One has to admire the “out-of-the-snifter” approach of Courvoisier, founded in 1834 and one of the four leading Cognac houses, which has now taken this classic digestif from an after-dinner setting and placed it at the opposite end of the evening, as an aperitif. Or even as a before-lunch libation.
It is the bright pink color of Courvoisier Rosé liqueur ($24.99) that immediately gives its intended purpose away, for this is a blend of young Cognacs and undisclosed varieties of French red wine grapes (Bordeaux, we suspect). The result is a light, 36-proof spirit (it cannot be called Cognac because it is less than 80 proof) full of peaches, strawberries, raspberries, and apricots.
Sweet and semi-rich, it is a bit too intense for sipping straight. Rather, it calls for soda and ice, and perhaps a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Some may prefer to use it in cocktails such as a sidecar, or to simply add a splash of brut Champagne to liven things up. Refreshing in a tantalizing way, Courvoisier Rosé is attractively packaged in Courvoisier’s classic Josephine bottle—a reminder that Napoleon was known to have favored the Cognacs of Emmanuel Courvoisier— although it is fairly certain the emperor never tasted anything like this. www.courvoisier.com