French Connection

Amaretto
Image Source / Getty Images
  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Serving: 1 serving
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
177 Calories
0g Fat
8g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 177
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 5mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 3mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 9mg 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.)

If you love books and movies, you know this tasty cocktail is named after the 1971 movie of the same name, although some claim it already existed in the 1960s. This cocktail is regaining popularity, and with reason, as the wonderful combination is the perfect digestif, after-dinner drink, or nightcap. It is, quite simply, a slow-sipping mixed drink made from a combination of cognac and amaretto. The cognac adds warmth to the chilled drink and the flavor mixes nicely with the nutty sweetness of amaretto.

Drinks as simple as this rely more on high-end spirits than a recipe with more mixers would. For this reason, buy a nice cognac and a good quality amaretto. You do not need to spend a fortune on a bottle of cognac for the French connection. Cognac is naturally a bit more expensive than other brandies, and its terroir (provenance) will add to the liquor's value. However, there are some fantastic cognacs available that will not break the bank. 

We included ice, but many connoisseurs agree that this drink is better straight.

Ingredients

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Build the ingredients in an old-fashioned glass filled with ice.

  3. Stir and serve.

Three Cognacs to Try

The following three bottles are among the best Cognacs you will find at a sensible price. You can also upgrade or downgrade within the brand as you see fit. All three companies produce a full range of cognac, using the standard brandy ratings: Very Special (VS), Very Superior Old Pale (VSOP), and Extra Old (XO). The abbreviations are listed in order of age and, therefore, price. Use this little bit of knowledge when choosing your sipping and cocktail cognacs:

  • Courvoisier VSOP: A very fine cognac at a reasonable price, this bottling from Courvoisier is a fantastic find and its peachy spice is nice against the amaretto. If using it, consider skipping the ice and simply enjoy a straight pour of the two spirits.
  • Camus VSOP: Cognac fans know this name. This bottling has wonderful character and a fruity oak that is perfect for the French connection.
  • Hennessy VS: This is the bargain of the lot and it is a perfect choice for any cognac cocktail. It is worth every penny and considered by many to be the best budget-friendly cognac around.

How Strong Is the French Connection?

There is very little dilution in the French Connection, especially since some drinkers prefer not to include ice. That means this brandy drink is just slightly below bottling strength, averaging about 30 percent ABV (60 proof) per serving. Drinks like this and the famous Brandy and Benedictine (B&B) are meant to show off some of the best brandies in the world and the higher proof means that there is more flavor to enjoy. Sip this one straight as it was meant to be and savor it slowly.

Other French Connection-Inspired Drinks

While the recipe above may be one of the best-known, there's no reason to pass either of these up when you have cognac in the bar:

  • French Connection No. 2: also known as The Beautiful, simply replace the amaretto with Grand Marnier, an orange-flavored liquor, with hints of vanilla and oak.
  • French Connection Coffee: also called Café Amore, this spiced coffee with cognac and amaretto is a nice option for dessert, especially if topped with whipped cream and almonds.