Drinks | Series

A Night with Pineau des Charentes

In celebration of Bastille Day, I recently attended a dinner hosted by Pineau des Charentes. When invited, I truthfully had never even heard of Pineau, and I’m always keen to take in a new experience- especially one involving wine from France!

My dear friend Charlie and I showed up to a private dinner hosted in Hollywood and were introduced to Pineau des Charentes. Called “Spirited Wine”, Pineau is a fortified wine from fresh grape juice that has been blended with Cognac. It’s produced exclusively in the Cognac region of France, and you guys, it is DELIGHTFUL. When we showed up for dinner, we were greeted with a simple cocktail called the P+T. It’s a blend of white Pineau, Fevertree Tonic, grapefruit and thyme. In this overwhelming summer heat, the P+T was a refreshingly smooth way to begin the evening.

Throughout the night, we tried various Pineaus and learned the history of this unconventional wine. Legend has it that Pineau was discovered in France when a wine-grower carelessly threw grape must into a barrel containing Cognac eau-de-vie. Years later, the barrel was discovered and with it a unique drink! And that it is. Every cocktail throughout the night was surprising and inventive, and was perfectly paired with our endless course French cuisine from chef Igor Ladyjensky.

From Warm oysters with caviar and duck fat, to Veal tartare with truffle and a quail egg, the dinner was everything rich and ambient as one would expect from the French. We dined for hours, sipped endless amounts of Pineau, and learned both ways to cocktail it as well as drink it neat. With each course came a new perfectly matched tasting.

All of the cocktails from the evening were amazing, but the first won my heart. It’s an easy make! Check out the recipe below! And to learn more about Pineau or to give it a try, visit their Instagram which has amazing cocktail and pairing inspo!

The P&T
Ingredients:
– 1.5 oz White Pineau
– .75 oz Fever Tree Tonic

Directions:
– Build over ice in Rocks glass

Garnish: Sprig of Thyme, Grapefruit Twist

 

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