When you're putting together an invite list for a wild party, you don't necessarily think of those people you know with the most gravitas. And so as the mixologist-led nightlife cocktail craze swept the nation, Rémy Martin, producer of sophisticated Fine Champagne Cognac since 1724, found itself on the outside looking in. This was evidently a problem requiring a clear solution.
Enter Rémy Martin V -- pronounced "Vee," as in eaux-de-vie, or "water of life." The transparent spirit is culled from the same grapes grown in the top two crus of Remy's legendary vineyards in the heart of Cognac, France. These grapes are then double-distilled, blended, filtered, chilled to 14 degrees Farenheit, left to rest, and ultimately bottled as a smooth, clean, fresh spirit. And it arrived in Miami just this month.
Mixologist John Lermayer, who has bartended and helped set the cocktail list at some of Miami's hottest bars (including The Florida Room and, most recently, Blackbird Ordinary). He was kind enough to stop by the New Times office to shake up a few Rémy Martin V cocktails. Keep going for his take on the new spirit, the recipe for his original V-Sun and Moon (which incorporates the new Rémy with fresh pineapple juice, sage leaves, and a splash of Piper-Heidsieck Champagne), as well as for a list of where you can find Rémy V by bottle or in cocktail.
The process of making V sounded a bit like that of grappa, so I asked John if there were taste similarities. "No, if anything it's closer to Pisco," he replied, "but Rémy doesn't even want that comparison made. It's got it's own distinct flavor."
We sampled some straight up to begin. "Take in the aroma," Lermayer told us, "but don't stick your nose in the glass like you would do with a wine. Just inhale it gently." He mentioned "hints of pear and mint," but he needn't have said anything about the former, as the pear notes, though subtle, are up front and center.
"Rémy Martin V is ideal for mixing cocktails," explained John, "because unlike vodka, which is basically tasteless, this drink has enough flavor to stand up to mixers such as pomegranate juice." To make certain he was correct, I poured some pomegranate juice into my Rémy V and added some ice; it definitely had more depth than a vodka-pomegranate.
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V-Sun and Moon
|V-Sun and Moon|
Next, the cocktails, starting with a egg white-foamed V-sour (which tasted a bit like a pisco sour -- sorry Rémy), followed by V-Pink Passion (with Elderflower liqueur, freshly muddled strawberries, and Piper-Heidsieck Champagne), followed by Lermayer's delicious creation:
V-Sun and Moon
1 ounce Rémy V
1 ounce Piper-Heidsieck Champagne (Piper-Heidseick is part of Rémy's portfolio)
1 ounce pineapple juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
1/2 ounce lemon juice
4 sage leaves
Shake the Rémy, pineapple juice, simple syrup and lemon juice. Strain into glass, top with Champagne and garnish with sage.
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We learned quite a bit from Mr. Lermayer, and I think he learned something too: Never offer to mix complimentary cocktails for a group of journalists without first setting a limit on how many each person may drink.