Food - Drink
The Fortified French Wine That Can Elevate Almost Any Cocktail
By NATASHA BAILEY
With so many different kinds of alcohol on the market, there are bound to be a few lesser-known but absolutely delicious drinks that deserve a moment in the spotlight. One such alcohol is Pineau des Charentes, a fortified French wine that only spread beyond France starting in 1945, and can make virtually any cocktail even better.
This wine typically is made using three parts wine-must to one part Cognac, and must be aged for at least one year. Pineau des Charentes comes in white, pink, and red varieties, and can be made from different types of grapes, so long as the fruit is grown in the French regions of Charente, Charente-Maritime, or Dordogne.
Bottles tend to be on the sweeter side, and can be used in any equal-part cocktail to add subtle fruity, nutty, and spicy vanilla notes, such as a Raisin' Cane or Aquarelle. Surprisingly, this wine was invented by accident in the 16th century, when grapes were thrown into an "empty" barrel that actually contained Cognac eau de vie.