Wine & Spirits

It's Snifting Season

La Belle Vie's Johnny Michaels breaks out the cognac and liqueurs for a winter-worthy beverage.


It’s time to get cozy! Whether you’re in front of a fireplace or on a couch, get comfortable and pour yourself something warm and soothing. I foresee some snifting going on, so break out the cognac and liqueurs. A fine brandy is fine, but a lot of liqueurs can be a lot, so I recommend blending the two.

Pour an ounce of cognac into a snifter, add half an ounce of flavoring spirit (such as Grand Marnier or Kirschwasser) and a dash of appropriate bitters, then heat it up a bit.

Often people fill a mug with hot water, then lay the snifter over it on its side to warm it. I find this doesn’t always heat it up enough or last long enough, so I recommend microwaving the snifter for 15 seconds or so. Microwaves vary, and you don’t want to boil off the alcohol or scald yourself, so err on the side of caution, slowly increasing the time until you reach the perfect temperature. Then place the snifter on the mug with hot water, and it should last quite a bit longer—making winter seem a little shorter.