We headed to Malmaison London to find out how easy it is to impress guests after a three-course meal, by combining a few cleverly selected ingredients with a hint of Martell VS cognac
This time of year is especially synonymous with great food, drink and conversation. To celebrate this, Martell, the oldest of the great cognac houses, has launched “The 4th Course” cognac serve, a series of unique after dinner food pairings to enhance the harmonious blend of fresh citrus and pear flavours, wood and spice notes and the velvety texture of Martell VS.
The 4th Course is inspired by the after-dinner French Café Gourmand serve, which pairs Martell cognac with a selection of petits fours. It is the natural way to enjoy Martell, a brand which has its rich cultural heritage, associations with extraordinary food and prominence as an “after dinner” drink.
Following a delicious welcome cocktail made of champagne, cognac, and sugar cubes that had been infused with bitters, we were guided through each of the freshly-prepared courses by Matthias Lataille, the very knowledgeable Martell Brand Ambassador and former bartender, as well as by the highly-talented ex-banker, turned Cordon Bleu chef, Luiz Hara.
We started with the first pairing which came in the form of cognac-soaked prunes wrapped in Iberico ham, which originates from pigs fed on acorns. We then worked our way through some 30-month old Parmesan cheese and quince paste (a “Romeo and Juliet” experience) after placing another hint of cognac on the palate. The third plate put before us was as equally impressive, a simple concoction of finely sliced pairs garnished with morsels of Roquefort cheese, chopped almonds and Martell-infused raisins.
Our favourite pairing of the night by far was the Christmas pudding ice cream which was once again topped with the raisins which had been thoroughly soaked in cognac. They dominated this dish, but worked exceptionally well with the other ingredients, making this after dinner treat an utter joy for the senses.
All of these pairings are easily put together in a matter of moments, and complement the strong aromas of Martell VS. Each has a maximum of just four different components, thereby leaving the “chef” free to socialise and enjoy the occasion.
Martell – Where and How?
Martell VS is available in 35cl, 70cl and 100cl bottles from all major retailers including The Whisky Exchange.