French Connection Cocktail Drink

French Connection

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
Andrea
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano

This French Connection recipe has all the right ingredients. It’s a cocktail that’s straightforward to make and offers a refined taste every time.

French Connection Cocktail Recipe

Sip on this classic French Connection recipe! This smooth cocktail is perfect for evening relaxation and is made with rich cognac and sweet Amaretto.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

142 kl

Ingredients

  • oz Cognac
  • ½ oz Amaretto
  • Ice cubes

Equipment

  • Old Fashioned Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon

Instructions

  • Prep Glass: Fill your Old Fashioned glass with ice cubes.
  • Add Amaretto: Measure and pour ½ oz Amaretto over the ice.
  • Add Cognac: Pour 1½ oz Cognac into the glass.
  • Stir Gently: Use your bar spoon to stir the ingredients gently.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Cognac: I've turned to a good quality brandy when I don't have cognac. It's a close relative and retains much of the desired flavor profile. If you're feeling adventurous, Armagnac, another French brandy, can be an interesting swap.
  • Amaretto: I sometimes use a hazelnut liqueur if Amaretto is absent from my cabinet. The nutty essence is different but delightful.

Making a Pitcher of French Connection:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher serving 8, you'd need 12 oz of cognac and 4 oz of Amaretto.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine the cognac and Amaretto. Stir well.
  • Serve: Pour the concoction into ice-filled Old Fashioned glasses and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Cognac Substitute: Seek out a non-alcoholic brandy or combine apple and grape juices with a hint of vanilla extract to mimic the deep, fruity cognac notes.
  • Amaretto Substitute: Almond syrup or almond extract mixed with a bit of simple syrup can replace the almond essence of Amaretto.
  • Proceed As Usual: With these non-alcoholic alternatives, follow the main steps and relish a non-alcoholic version.

Making it Vegan:

Fortunately, the basic ingredients  - cognac and Amaretto - are typically vegan. However, always check labels or with manufacturers, as some might use non-vegan processing agents or additives. If you're making any modifications or using different brands, be vigilant about ensuring all components are vegan-friendly.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
142
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
0.04
g
0
%
Saturated Fat
 
0.02
g
0
%
Sodium
 
2
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
5
g
2
%
Sugar
 
5
g
6
%
Potassium
 
5
mg
0
%
Protein
 
0.01
g
0
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
0.01
g
Calcium
 
0.1
mg
0
%
Iron
 
0.03
mg
0
%

 

French Connection Cocktail Drink

French Connection Cocktail Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Sip on this classic French Connection recipe! This smooth cocktail is perfect for evening relaxation and is made with rich cognac and sweet Amaretto.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 142

Ingredients
 

  • oz Cognac
  • ½ oz Amaretto
  • Ice cubes

Equipment

  • Old Fashioned Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon

Instructions

  • Prep Glass: Fill your Old Fashioned glass with ice cubes.
  • Add Amaretto: Measure and pour ½ oz Amaretto over the ice.
  • Add Cognac: Pour 1½ oz Cognac into the glass.
  • Stir Gently: Use your bar spoon to stir the ingredients gently.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Cognac: I've turned to a good quality brandy when I don't have cognac. It's a close relative and retains much of the desired flavor profile. If you're feeling adventurous, Armagnac, another French brandy, can be an interesting swap.
  • Amaretto: I sometimes use a hazelnut liqueur if Amaretto is absent from my cabinet. The nutty essence is different but delightful.

Making a Pitcher of French Connection:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher serving 8, you'd need 12 oz of cognac and 4 oz of Amaretto.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine the cognac and Amaretto. Stir well.
  • Serve: Pour the concoction into ice-filled Old Fashioned glasses and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Cognac Substitute: Seek out a non-alcoholic brandy or combine apple and grape juices with a hint of vanilla extract to mimic the deep, fruity cognac notes.
  • Amaretto Substitute: Almond syrup or almond extract mixed with a bit of simple syrup can replace the almond essence of Amaretto.
  • Proceed As Usual: With these non-alcoholic alternatives, follow the main steps and relish a non-alcoholic version.

Making it Vegan:

Fortunately, the basic ingredients  - cognac and Amaretto - are typically vegan. However, always check labels or with manufacturers, as some might use non-vegan processing agents or additives. If you're making any modifications or using different brands, be vigilant about ensuring all components are vegan-friendly.

What is a French Connection Cocktail?

French Connection is a blend of cognac and Amaretto. Enthusiasts appreciate the cocktail for its smooth interplay between the deep notes of the cognac and the sweet touch of the Amaretto. While its origin story isn’t as well-documented as some other classic drinks, the French Connection holds its own in terms of elegance. You might find it served in upscale lounges and gatherings, making it a favorite for those who prefer a drink with class. The International Bartender Association(IBA) officially list the drink as one of the “Contemporary Classics.

A side shot of a French Connection cocktail in an Old Fashioned glass on a plate placed on a white cloth on a wooden table.

What is a French Connection Cocktail made of – The ingredients

To make your French Connection you will need the following two ingredients:

  • Cognac: A high-quality brandy from the Cognac region of France provides depth and warmth to the drink.
  • Amaretto: A sweet, almond-flavored liqueur imparts a sugary and nutty note, balancing the strong character of the cognac.

Amaretto and Cognac laid out on a white bar table.

How do you make a French Connection Cocktail?

Make sure your French Connection is perfect by following our simple instructions:

1
<p>Fill the glass with ice cubes to keep your drink chilled.</p>

Fill the glass with ice cubes to keep your drink chilled.

2
<p>Add the Amaretto, introducing a sweet and nutty flavor to the mix.</p>

Add the Amaretto, introducing a sweet and nutty flavor to the mix.

3
<p>Pour in the cognac, allowing its deep notes to be the base of your cocktail.</p>

Pour in the cognac, allowing its deep notes to be the base of your cocktail.

4
<p>Using a bar spoon or stirrer, gently mix the two ingredients until well combined.</p>

Using a bar spoon or stirrer, gently mix the two ingredients until well combined.

5
<p>Enjoy your French Connection!</p>

Enjoy your French Connection!

French Connection Cocktail with Hennessy

Choosing the right cognac can elevate your drink from good to great when crafting a French Connection. Enter Hennessy – a global cognac titan with roots stretching back to 1765. Its smooth and rich profile, boasting hints of oak and vanilla, melds seamlessly with the sweet almond notes of Amaretto. Opting for Hennessy ensures a well-balanced drink where the depth of the cognac shines without overshadowing the Amaretto. Whether you’re a longtime fan of Hennessy or new to the brand, integrating it into your cocktail will undoubtedly offer a refined taste that’s hard to beat.

What’s the price and cost of a French Connection Cocktail?

Navigating the cost of crafting a French Connection at home hinges on choosing cognac and Amaretto. Top-shelf cognacs, while delivering superior depth and character, can surge the cost per glass. On the flip side, there’s a plethora of budget-friendly options that don’t skimp on quality. Amaretto, by nature, tends to be less variable in price. Investing in a mid-tier cognac and a decent amaretto balances cost and quality. Remember, the final taste doesn’t always correlate with price. Often, it’s about the blend and personal preference.

A side shot of a French Connection cocktail in an Old Fashioned glass on a plate placed on a white cloth on a wooden table with a Hennessy Cognac bottle and a jigger around.

How do you garnish a French Connection Drink?

Garnishing a French Connection adds that final touch of elegance. While the cocktail traditionally goes without, there’s no harm in elevating its presentation. An orange twist, neatly spiraled, introduces a subtle citrus aroma that complements the cocktail’s deep and sweet notes. A single maraschino cherry can be dropped in if you’re leaning towards a fruitier touch. It adds a pop of color and a hint of cherry sweetness. When adding garnishes, it’s essential to ensure they enhance the drink’s existing flavors rather than overpower them. With a careful hand and an eye for detail, your drink will taste great and look the part, too.

Can I make a French Connection with Gin?

Introducing gin into the French Connection may seem unorthodox, but it can be a game-changer for those eager to twist the classic. Gin’s botanicals introduce a layer of complexity, intertwining with the almond sweetness of Amaretto and the richness of cognac. Choosing the right gin is paramount if you’re keen to venture down this path. Brands like Tanqueray offer a pronounced juniper kick, while Bombay Sapphire leans towards a more floral and citrusy profile. For this cocktail, a balanced gin like Beefeater might be your best bet, as it offers a harmony of botanicals without overwhelming the drink’s original character.

A side shot of a French Connection cocktail in an Old Fashioned glass on a plate placed on a white cloth on a wooden table with a Hennessy Cognac bottle and a jigger around.

French Connection Variations

Want to have something slightly different? Try one of our recommended variations:

  • Midnight in Paris: Imagine the elegance of a Parisian night captured in a blend of cognac and champagne, often accented with a lemon twist and a hint of sweetness from Cointreau. The effervescence of the champagne playfully mingles with the warm, rich base of cognac. I find myself captivated by this luxurious mix; it’s like celebrating in the heart of Paris with every sip.
  • Nutty Irishman: A comforting harmony of Irish cream and hazelnut liqueur, this delight often graces ice cubes or warms up a cup of coffee. The rich, nutty essence of hazelnut beautifully complements the creamy sweetness of Irish cream. I particularly enjoy its warmth and richness on cold evenings, feeling like a cozy, flavor-packed blanket.
  • French Caribbean: A tropical blend where the smoothness of French spirits like cognac or French rum meets the vibrant, sunny flavors of Caribbean fruits. Lime juice and cane syrup often join in to heighten its refreshing nature. The French Caribbean impresses with its smooth French spirits and lively, fruity Caribbean notes, offering a delightful taste escape to a sunny beach.

A side shot of a French Connection cocktail in an Old Fashioned glass on a plate placed on a white cloth on a wooden table with a Hennessy Cognac bottle around.

History and Origin of the French Connection Cocktail

As its name might suggest, the French Connection cocktail pays homage to the French origin of its primary ingredient, cognac. While the exact date and creator of the French Connection remains somewhat nebulous, its origin lies in the 20th century, when combining spirits became fashionable.

The name likely stems from the popularity of the 1971 crime thriller movie. This association with a high-profile film helped cement the drink’s status and recall. However, the connection between the movie and the drink isn’t direct; it’s more about the timing and the shared name.

Cognac, a type of brandy produced in the Cognac region of France, has a rich history dating back centuries. When paired with Amaretto, an Italian liqueur, the blend bridges French and Italian flavors, resulting in a drink appreciated for its smoothness and depth.

A French Connection cocktail, shot from above, in an Old Fashioned glass on a white marmol table with a Hennessy Cognac bottle and an Amaretto bottle around.

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FAQ

How many calories does a French Connection typically have?
A standard serving contains approximately 180-200 calories, which may vary based on specific brands and portion sizes.
How strong is a French Connection cocktail?
The strength depends on the alcohol content of the specific cognac, and Amaretto used. Generally, it can range between 24% to 30% ABV (48 to 60 proof).
What alcohol is the base of a French Connection?
The primary alcohol in the cocktail is cognac, complemented by Amaretto.
In which type of glass is a French Connection typically served?
It's traditionally served in an Old Fashioned glass.
What does a French Connection taste like?
The drink offers a harmonious blend of deep, rich cognac notes with sweet and nutty hints from Amaretto.
What's the typical ratio of ingredients in a French Connection?
A common ratio is 3 parts cognac to 1 part amaretto, but some prefer a 1:1 ratio for a sweeter profile.
How is the French Connection usually served in terms of ice?
It's typically served over ice, also known as "on the rocks".

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