The House of Rémy Martin has spent 286 years sealing its reputation as the leading cognac producer in the world. Generations of growers and master blenders have dedicated their lives to creating the brand's rich, dark, hauntingly aromatic flavor profile, resulting in bottles prized by kings and proffered for thousands of dollars. After three centuries in the game, Rémy Martin is cognac. But their newest spirit, Rémy Martin V, is not.
Aimed at expanding the brand's foothold with clubgoers, a subset of whom are wildly loyal cognac drinkers, Rémy Martin created this clear, unaged eaux-de-vie, combining cognac's aromatics with a white spirit's mixability. That's the plan, anyway. Will it work?
"The key was to stay true to the Rémy Martin standard of quality," says Emma Medina, brand director for Rémy Martin VSOP and VS, and one of the key players in the launch of V in its test markets, San Francisco and Atlanta. She added that brown spirits are "losing relevancy for younger consumers," while modern mixology culture continues to take root and find fans even in the club environment. This confluence of trends means good things for premium vodkas, but poses a specific threat to rich, dark spirits best taken straight (no offense to the Harvard cocktail).
The question remains, though, whether fans of white spirits can be convinced to swap out their Skyy or Ciroc for a lighter version of something they weren't interested in drinking in the first place. Rémy Martin's approach to this challenge begins with its star mixologist, Charles Hardwick.
"It's all about identifying with the people you want to reach," says Hardwick of creating cocktails that showcase V those new to cognac-esque flavors. "It's a process not unlike writing a song." Hardwick adds that V is exciting to pitch to both consumers and fellow mixologists. "It's a quality distillate, and a wholly unique spirit - it's not just a new iteration of something everyone already has behind the bar."
2 oz Rémy Martin V
3/4 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz Sweet vermouth
2 dashes Orange bitters
Orange twist for garnish
Combine all liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a cocktail glass; garnish with an orange twist.
1 1/4 oz Rémy Martin V
Dash of nutmeg
Combine Rémy Martin V and ginger ale in a Collins glass filled with cracked ice. Drop in lime wedge, top with a dash of nutmeg.
1 1/2 oz Rémy Martin V
1 oz Cranberry juice
1/2 oz Fresh lime juice
Combine Rémy Martin V, cranberry juice, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with the lime.