Tis the Season for Cream and Cognac

Photo by Jon Estrada

Photo by Jon Estrada

A melty scoop of vanilla gelato bobbing like a buoy in a sea of espresso. Few things feel so deservedly decadent as an affogato. But I’ll see your coffee and raise you a luxury Cognac. Francesco Lafranconi is a betting man, and the Southern Wine & Spirits executive director of mixology and spirits education thinks you’ll see the Saison 1738 the way he does, as a “sophisticated yet simple cocktail that embraces the season.” The drink was created for a recent midwinter night’s tasting, The Heart of Cognac Experience in the Skylofts at MGM Grand.

Lafranconi begins with fior di latte gelato studded with fresh figs and sliced almonds in a cocktail glass. Around this, he pours a mixture of 2002 vintage Florio Marsala and Rémy Martin 1738 Accord Royal Cognac. Created specifically for the American palate (read: sweet), the 1738 is redolent of figs and dates, candied oranges and chocolate with a hint of cinnamon, and is only available in the U.S. Just add a “mistletoe” of dried fig and star anise, and whether you say “Joyeux Noël” or “Buon Natale,” have a happy, delicious holidays!

Saison 1738

Created by Francesco Lafranconi

In a stemmed cocktail glass sprayed with Chef Rubber gold spray, add a scoop of softened fior di latte gelato (or vanilla ice cream) that has been softened and folded with chopped figs and almond slices. Around this, pour 1½ ounces Rémy Martin Accord Royal Cognac 1738 and ¾ ounce Marsala Florio 2002 Targa Supreiore Riserva. Garnish with a slice of dried fig pinned to a star anise pod.


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