The Beautiful Cocktail

Cognac and Grand Marnier cocktail in a brandy snifter

The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
227 Calories
0g Fat
10g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 227
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 0mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 2mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The "beautiful" cocktail is a simply wonderful way to enjoy a very nice cognac. It goes along with the theory of the B&B—to enhance brandy with a top-shelf liqueur, and create an enjoyable, sophisticated drinking experience. It is in these two drinks that one can see the beauty of simplicity, even the absence of ice allows the drinks to come together in a true, unadulterated way.

Nearly as popular as the B&B, the beautiful is also called a French Connection No. 2 or, more simply, cognac and Grand Marnier, a reflection of the two ingredients the drink requires. The orange liqueur laces your favorite cognac with sweet citrus notes, adding a softer dimension to the experience. It's a drink in which you can bring out the nicer cognacs. While some drinkers prefer adding a single ice cube, it's most often served neat.


Click Play to See This Sophisticated Beautiful Cocktail Come Together

"Neat is absolutely the way to go with this delightful equal-parts cocktail. It helps to use a slightly older cognac (VSOP over VS) because the sweetness of the orange brandy works well with the potential oak and tobacco notes. This recipe is on the sweeter side of recipes I have seen, but it is absolutely delicious." —Sean Johnson

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A Note From Our Recipe Tester


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for the beautiful cocktail recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Build the drink in a brandy snifter by pouring the brandy and Grand Marnier into the glass. Serve and enjoy.

    Brandy and Grand Marnier in a brandy snifter

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck


  • Stirring is not necessary, and you can even get away with swirling the drink in the glass to mix the two ingredients. The snifter's sides are tall so there's little chance of splashing, and swirling it occasionally enhances the aroma and flavor as you drink.
  • If you prefer a chilled drink, place one extra-large ice cube or ice ball into the glass then add the spirits. The large piece of ice melts slowly and will minimize dilution.
  • Skip the ice and chill the snifter in the freezer for about 10 minutes instead.

Recipe Variations

  • This mix is excellent with a slight amount of heat: Pour hot water into the snifter and let it rest for about 5 minutes before discarding the water and pouring the liquors.
  • If you're looking for a substitute for Grand Marnier, be sure the orange liqueur has a brandy base. The best alternative is Gran Gala, which is made with Italian brandy.
  • When you switch from Grand Marnier to amaretto, you're drinking a French Connection. The combination of cognac and amaretto is also excellent when topped with hot coffee.

How Strong Is the Beautiful Drink?

Since there is no ice involved, the "beautiful" cocktail maintains the bottling strength of the two spirits. The average brandy is 80 proof, as is Grand Marnier, so the cocktail weighs in at 40 percent ABV (80 proof). That is strong, but not really the point of a drink like this. Drinkers who enjoy a snifter of fine brandy are not concerned about strength; taste and the aromatics inside the glass are the important elements.