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Sweeter than Cognac

Forget the licorice sickliness of pastis and the the deranging legends of wormwood-ridden absinthe, the new hipster drink of choice is Pineau de Charente. In almost as short supply (outside of southwest France) as absinthe, pineau is made from a blend of slightly fermented grape juice and the eau de vie of cognac.

Like wine, it has white, red and rosé variants, and all are usually served chilled. The taste, which varies markedly from maker to maker and with age, is sweet – with an edge. Rappers might get paid to shout out the virtues of ‘nyak’ – the big name cognac brands of Hennesy, Martel, Remy Martin and Courvoisier – but in Paris,  it’s cooler to be seen swirling a tulip glass of this much cheaper more palatable drink. (Hint: start with the delicate rosé made by Feynard).