How to host an elevated soirée with LOUIS XIII
From serving and storing to the perfect pairing, Rémy Cointreau’s Cellar Master, Baptiste Loiseau, gives us a closer look at this luxurious holiday spirit
Who doesn’t love a good party? But a great party? That goes beyond the reliability of the kitschy decor and usual gimmicks; it zeroes in on and elevates tradition. This year, step up the sophistication by serving the coveted LOUIS XIII Cognac. Rich in history and composition, this renowned spirit dates back to 1874 and has long been enjoyed by royalty, politicians, and artists, and was even served on the Concorde, Normandie, and the Orient Express.
Dubbed the “liquor of the gods” by Victor Hugo, the distillation process behind cognac is complex and profound, and LOUIS XIII goes above and beyond. It’s made up of 1,200 eaux-de-vie from the Grande Champagne region, each distilled and selected from various distillations over many years. LOUIS XIII Cognac is undoubtedly an homage to the French art de vivre. The label’s blend is widely considered the most complex expression of cognac; it isn’t just a drink; it’s an experience—one that your guests will never forget.
We sat with Rémy Cointreau’s Cellar Master, Baptiste Loiseau, to better understand how to best serve and appreciate this fine spirit.
Production process and distillation contribute to the singularity of the LOUIS XIII Cognac—can you tell us about it?
Louis XIII Cognac is made meticulously—dictated by uncompromising French regulatory laws—using white grapes grown exclusively in the Grande Champagne area in Cognac, France. Once harvested, we ferment the grape juices to produce a light white wine. We distill this wine twice with its lees— the leftover yeast particles from the fermentation process—in small copper-pot stills. Evaporating as it’s heated, vapours pass through the neck of the still and centralize into a condensing coil. During the second distillation, we carefully extract the “heart” of the liquid to create an eau-de-vie (water of life). This fiery, colourless liquid is poured into French open-grained oak casks where it will mellow and age for years before being blended with other eaux-de-vie to create, over decades, the final unique blend of Louis XIII cognac.
How should we serve and store our Louis XIII Cognac?
I recommend serving Louis XIII Cognac in one of our dedicated Christophe Pillet-designed crystal glasses, “Facets of Louis XIII,” at room temperature. Store it at 15-20°C to preserve its distinctive aromas and flavours. Protect your decanter by keeping it upright, and shielded from humidity and direct sunlight.
Does Louis XIII Cognac have a perfect pairing?
Often served as a digestif at the end of a meal, you can appreciate it thoroughly as an aperitif when all the senses are open to this discovery. Louis XIII Cognac is best enjoyed neat.
For celebratory occasions, I pair LOUIS XIII with caviar. The caviar’s subtle salty ocean notes, alongside every sip of cognac, leave you with a creamy texture on the palate, revealing the heart of LOUIS XIII. Echoing the suave texture of LOUIS XIII, another delicious pairing would be the gently salted and melt-in-the-mouth texture of Bellota ham; its fatty texture with nutty aromas is a beautiful match, leaving a lingering finish.
What’s the best way to fully appreciate Louis XIII Cognac?
I recommend preparing your palette before enjoying LOUIS XIII. Place a drop on your lips first to prepare the palate and let the wave rise. We just launched THE DROP, which offers a new way of discovering and enjoying our gorgeous cognac: A pristine blend of LOUIS XIII within a tiny 1CL bottle.
Last but certainly not least, the gift of LOUIS XIII is best enjoyed with loved ones.
Click here to discover the world of Rémy Cointreau and LOUIS XIII Cognac and here to learn more about THE DROP. Explore LOUIS XIII Cognac in-store and online at your local LCBO. Please drink responsibly.