One of the biggest treats of attending this years Tales of the Cocktail event was attending a dinner event hosted by D’usse (Pronounced “Dew-say”) Cognac. If you’re not familiar with the brand, you’ll probably catch the buzz soon. The Bacardi house cognac has become the “it” cognac as of late, popularized with the help of several celebrity endorsements, most notably Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter. But it’s easy to buy a few big names off to promote your brand. The question is, does it actually measure of to the hype? In one word, Yes.
This exclusive event was held at the Degas house, home of the French Impressionist Master Edgar Degas and located about 10 blocks away from the French Quarter. From beginning to end, it was a night of hits and no misses. From creatively crafted cocktails to perfectly paired cuisines, D’usse did their best to prove why they, not Hennessy or Courvoisier should be our premium cognac of choice. In addition to tasting and experiencing the versatility of this bold new cognac, we learned quite a bit as well about the history of D’usse, and French cognac in general lead by D’usse cellar master, Monsieur Michel Casavecchia. It was truly a night to remember.
We started the night off with jumbo lump crabmeat infused with D’usse, paired perfectly with the Gold Lorraine cocktail, a refreshing first serve made with cognac, honey, benedictine, lemon juice, and bitters. Go ahead and roll your tongue back in your mouth because it only gets better from here. Up next was the main course, Maple bacon-wrapped jumbo shrimp seared with a sweet D’usse reduction. It was served on a bed of smoked cochon de lait over French-queen’s brie-infused stone-ground girts. Small back story here: Anyone that knows me, knows if there’s one food I’ve never been a fan of, it’s grits. To say I hate grits, would probably be an understatement. I’ve never had it in my adult life, and only remember horror stories of it in my childhood. So needless to say I was a bit apprehensive when I saw it on the menu. However, I like to consider myself an adventurer in the likeness of Anthony Bourdaine, so I thought I would take one for the team, and try it this time. The crazy thing? I didn’t just like it, I LOVED it. I wanted to pull the chef to the side and ask him if he could restore sight to the blind too, because what he put on that plate was nothing short of a miracle. It didn’t end there. Finally, we entered the courtyard where we sipped D’usse neat. Paired with it was a Creole white chocolate bread pudding made with white chocolate, fresh crushed pineapple, and fired with a D’usse-infused white chocolate reduction. Oh and did we mention there were hand rolled cigars waiting for us as well?
All in all, it was the perfect evening capturing the essence of a cognac that is sure to become a household name soon. Kudos to the Chef, Scot Craig of Katie’s Restaurant and Bar. His culinary expressions were one of a kind. And a special thanks to Jenna, and D’usse for allowing us to attend a one of a kind experience.