Pineau des Charentes!

A few years ago I went to a fabulous dinner that was all about pairing Pineau des Charentes, a French Aperitif with some incredible dishes. This fortified wine is made from grapes and Cognac eau-de-vie. It’s certainly a different style then what many are used to, but sipping on this is just absolute fun!

It’s sweet, but in a natural, juicy way, thats ideal in cocktails, however I do just love to sip it on it’s own! It’s sweeter with a strong vanilla note and fruit character which makes it fun for seasonal cocktails too. Sometimes I simply sip it with some soda water and an orange peel, and other times I add a bit of Champagne or Crémant to it; either way it’s really delicious.

Because of its sweetness, it can easily be used in cocktails like an Old Fashioned, but replace the bourbon with cognac (since Pineau is made with cognac). The flavor is bold and really beautiful, and there are many different Pineau’s out there so do be sure to check your wine store for some! This particular bottle of Park Pineau des Charentes is delicate and floral and nice and sweet. I like to use this instead of sugar in my cocktails, because it has enough sweetness as is. It’s a fun, and juicy fortified wine thats ideal for $20 a bottle! This can also last in your fridge for a few weeks, so you can have something sweet and fun in the fridge anytime you wish.

As I was doing some research on this subject I came across some fun ideas from Food and Wine Magazine, where they used Pineau des Charentes in a Mojito style cocktail as well as the Old Fashioned I mentioned above. I tested them out, and put my own spin on these fun classics, and present to you…. some amazing Pineau Cocktails!

The Pineau-Plum-Mojito: Inspired by F&W Magazine

50ml White Rum

1oz Pineau des Charantes

4-6oz Lime Seltzer

3 Dashes of Plum Bitters

Muddled Mint

  1. In a shaker, muddle the mint and rip into smaller pieces. Add the Rum and Pineau and shake with ice until well chilled. Strain into a tall glass with ice. Top with seltzer, and 3 dashes of plum bitters.

Always remember, eat what you like and drink what you love. Please pair responsibly and keep an eye on my Instagram for some of those Pineau Old Fashioned’s!

About Sara Lehman

Sommelier, Private Chef, & Food and Wine Pairing Expert in NYC! Sara is a Wine Writer, Wine Ambassador, and Wine Consultant specializing in pairings, parties, entertaining and education.

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