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Hennessy challenges tradition by introducing a new way to enjoy its signature cognac, the Hennessy V.S.O.P, by crafting cocktails to bring out their different elements. Actress and writer January So shares with us her favourite notes when it comes to cocktails.

As a cognac connoisseur — cocktails, wine and liqueur alike — Malaysian actress and columnist January So closely associates her Chinese New Year traditions with good spirits and distilled ones. Looking back on her experience growing up in Kuala Lumpur, some of her strongest memories of the festivities are of the tuan yuan fan — the reunion dinner traditionally held on the eve of the Lunar New Year.

Drinking is a staple for Chinese New Year celebrations, and whether you are into cognac or otherwise, what’s important is that you’re always in for a good time. Hennessy taps into this deeply rooted tradition while still bringing forth new ways to enjoy its signature cognacs, making them delectable for all generations celebrating the festivities. By mixing the Hennessy V.S.O.P cognac into cocktails, it not only heightens the authentic taste of the eaux-de-vie, but also adds new notches of flavour to the concoction.

“I love to drink just about anything,” January confides, laughing, “but most of the time, my husband [Aaron Chin] is the one who knows how to appreciate the drinks in all the different forms, and is also the one who would introduce me to the world of cocktails.”

Hennessy CNY Reunion Dinner January So
January serving specially crafted cocktail recipes made using Hennessy V.S.O.P. to her guests.

Having discovered a recent love for natural wine, January has learned to appreciate the different notes and flavours of a good cognac like Hennessy X.O and Hennessy V.S.O.P. Beyond its taste, January also acknowledges her love for a liquor’s aesthetic, she acknowledges a new appreciation for an incredibly nuanced cognac, paying close attention to elements such as colour, and noting how the light dances through the drink — from the amber of wine to the rich mahogany of cognac. As someone brimming with creative energy, the 36-year-old actress and writer enjoys the art of drinking as well as the multitude of flavours she discovers each time she takes a sip.

While she and Aaron have similar tastes in their shared love for drinking, when it comes to food January fully credits Aaron for his expertise in pairing the right food with the perfect cocktail.

“My eating style is that I like to keep my meal ‘clean’, and I consume the nutrients of the food,” January explains. “For Aaron, I would say he’s the ‘Tastemaker’ between the two of us — he enjoys savouring the food, which means he’s good at identifying just the right flavours to pair.”

Hennessy has also partnered with Grand Imperial Group to offer a complimentary bottle of its signature cognac Hennessy V.S.O.P that comes alongside the Chinese New Year menu. The exclusive set menus that cater up to 10 people, feature a range of exquisite culinary creations from the Iberico Spare Ribs to Boston Lobster. You will not only indulge in the distinctive tastes of the signature dishes but also the artistic touches of its presentation and ambience.

In the matter of cocktails, the little distinct notes are what make up the whole. It is often said that a proper cocktail should not disguise its strong taste; rather, it should celebrate it.

On that note, Hennessy recommends two cocktails that celebrate the authentic flavour of its signature cognac, Hennessy V.S.O.P: the Hennessy ‘Goji & Lychee’ cocktail and the Hennessy ‘Guava & Cardamom’ cocktail.  Check out the recipes for both the cocktails below.

The Hennessy ‘Goji & Lychee’ Cocktail

Pour directly in a glass the following:

  • 30ml of Hennessy V.S.O.P
  • 30ml of Goji liquor
  • 90ml of Lychee drink PSP
  • 5ml of lemon juice

Garnish each serving with dried Goji berries and nasturtium, or chrysanthemums. The cocktail is best presented in a tumbler glass.

The Hennessy ‘Guava & Cardamom’ Cocktail

Pour directly in a glass the following:

  • 50ml of Hennessy V.S.O.P
  • 90ml of Guava juice drink PSP
  • 4 dashes of Bob’s Cardamom Bitters

Garnish each serving with Black cardamom. The cocktail is best served in a tumbler glass.

To learn more about Hennessy and its signature cognacs, visit its official website.

Credits:
creative direction MARTIN TEO | assisted by PUTERI YASMIN SURAYA | stylist NIGEL LEE | production DREAMBITIOUS | hair BIBIAN LEONG | makeup CAT YONG | talent TOMMY OOI | outfit BRIAN KHOO | location GRAND IMPERIAL @ THE CLUB

Martin Teo
Editor
Martin has a bent for history and food culture, especially of the Peranakan heritage. Since the pandemic, he finds joy in plant parenting and continues to expand his collection of Philodendrons, Anthuriums, and Syngoniums. He's now on a lookout for the elusive Philodendron Florida Beauty to add to his urban garden.
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