Open & Shut Brandy Cocktail | Wine Enthusiast
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Open & Shut cocktail

Open & Shut Brandy Cocktail

Courtesy Julia Momose, Partner/Creative Director, Kumiko, Chicago

Brandy comes from a wide range of provenances and is available at an array of prices. Select one that you enjoy sipping straight to create mixed drinks just as wonderful. Try a V.S.O.P. (Very Special/Superior Old Pale) Cognac: It’s delicious, but not too old or rare to mix. Another solid option is an Armagnac, made in the Armagnac region of Gascony. It’s a favorite before-bed nip (with a square of dark chocolate) of several industry pros. After you find your brandy Goldilocks, mix it with amaro for a low-maintenance nightcap.

The Scaffa

Nope, we didn’t skip a step in this recipe. This is a scaffa, a room-temperature­ cocktail made without ice. There’s some debate as to what the word means. Was it the creator’s family name? Does it refer to an old Italian word for “cupboard,” as in, to use whatever ingredients are available within it? Either way, the spirits have no chill or dilution to hide behind. So, in this case, reach for top-shelf options. “Simply build in the glass, retire to bed, sip and ease yourself into slumber,” says Momose.


1½ ounces Amaro Lucano
½ ounce Cognac
Lemon or orange peel, for garnish


Combine ingredients in rocks glass with no ice. Garnish with peel, if desired.

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