Made of fine Cognac and Amaretto, the French Connection is a delicious representative of popular Brandy cocktails. The two ingredients go perfectly together and create a very complex flavor profile.
Cognac gives the drink a deep and fruity base that blends well with the sweet almond taste of Amaretto. It is this sweetness that makes the composition a perfect after-dinner cocktail.
Another after-dinner drink from the same era is the Godfather cocktail, which has a very similar approach - two ingredients & named after a movie. The only difference is the base spirit since the Godfather is based on smokey Scotch Whiskey instead of Cognac.
Ingredients of the French Connection
The base of the cocktail is Cognac. Cognac is a type of Brandy from Cognac, a district in the French Charente region. The production is strictly regulated, making it a consistently high-quality spirit.
There are different types of Cognac ranging from young (VS) to slightly aged (VSOP), up to aged-for-a-long-time (XO).
For the French Connection, you can use any of the above. A younger Cognac will create a more fruity and fresh drink, while an XO expression carries notes of vanilla and oak developed during aging in wooden barrels.
Amaretto is a sweet Italian liqueur made of almonds and pits from stone fruits. Together with Maraschino, Campari, and Cynar, it is one of the top Italian liqueurs when mixing cocktails. And even though Amaretto is pretty sweet, it works exceptionally well in cocktails when done right.
I recommend going with the leading brand, Disaronno, for the French Connection. And in case you don't know what to do with a whole bottle, we have an entire list of Disaronno-based cocktails.
History of the French Connection
The French Connection got its name from a 70s movie with the same title. This crime thriller from 1971 starred Gene Hackman, Fernando Rey, Roy Schneider, and more.
Funnily, the Godfather cocktail has a similar background. It, too, was named after the corresponding movie, which was released only one year after French Connections. -Must have been a short-lived trend back then.
So far, so good. However, we do not know who actually invented the French Connection drink. There's hardly any information on by whom or how the cocktail got made for the first time. It seems like it just appeared out of nowhere.
And for those thinking that the French Connection is just a riff on the Godfather with a different base spirit. In fact, it is the other way around. The drink already existed when the legendary Godfather movie was released.
However, more people are familiar with the Whiskey-based Godfather, so the French Connection is often unjustly regarded as the copycat drink.
As simple as the drink seems to today's standards, in the 70s, that kind of two-ingredient cocktail was quite unusual, classy, and sophisticated.
In a time when colorful and overly sweet disco drinks were trending, cocktails like this or the Rusty Nail, indeed, seemed very cosmopolitan.
- 1 Jigger
- 2 oz Cognac
- 1 oz Amaretto
- Pour both ingredients into a mixing glass with ice and stir until well chilled.2 oz Cognac, 1 oz Amaretto
- Pour the drink into a chilled glass over ice.
- Optionally garnish your cocktail with an orange peel.
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