Think you don’t like cognac? Then you weren’t in attendance at one of the Hennessy parties this weekend. The company’s mixologist, Jordan Bushell, blended a roster of fruity cocktails that made believers out of us. Whether paired with lime juice, pineapple juice, maple syrup, nutmeg, and heavy cream, or in a glass with Madeira, apple cider, and cinnamon, Hennessy came away a winner.
“People are starting to embrace new and exciting ways to drink,” says Bushell. “If you cook at home, you can mix drinks at home.” The Toronto-based expert's Super Bowl menu paid tribute to both teams: The Big Apple cocktail and the Brady Bundchen. The latter featured flavors typical of New England, like maple syrup and cream, and a top export of Gisele Bundchen’s native Brazil, pineapple. “It’s Hennessy’s take on a pina colada, without the coconut,” Bushell says. Recipes for both drinks and Bushnell's Indiana homage are at the bottom of the page.
Meanwhile, A-list MCs rocked the stage both nights. Saturday, Rev Run of Run DMC took a turn at the table, mashing up Frank Sinatra’s “New York New York” and Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind.” During Sunday’s post-game party, rapper Wiz Khalifa performed hits from his album Rolling Papers, and kept the banter on theme, joking (or not) that he had arrived in Indy with just the clothes on his back and a few joints. “Guess we’re getting drunk in these clothes,” he said to his co-emcee.
>> BROWSE our photo gallery of the Hennessy parties
Vocally, Khalifa was dead-on, his sound album-quality, and he worked the intimate crowd with skill, engaging the audience in his music. Members of the band Gym Class Heroes joined the crowd in front of the stage, dancing with the ladies and posing for iPhone photos. The red carpet inside the party doubled as a photo booth for all guests, who could print out their paparazzi-esque photo on a machine and take it as a souvenir.
As Khalifa stepped off the stage at a wee hour, he took the microphone from the deejay and asked if anyone had any weed. Guess his luggage wasn’t close by.
>> WATCH our video of Wiz Khalifa's performance
Recipes from Hennessy’s Super Bowl parties
THE BIG APPLE
45ml Hennessy V.S
1 dash Fee’s Old Fashioned Bitters
1 dash simple syrup
8ml Calvados apple brandy
30ml apple cider
Add all liquid to a shaker tin and shake with ice. Strain into a rocks glass over ice and grate cinnamon over the top. Garnish with an apple slice.
45ml Hennessy V.S
15ml Fresh Lime juice
15ml Maple syrup
22ml fresh pineapple juice
15ml heavy cream
1 dash Walnut bitters
Add all liquids to a shaker tin with ice and shake to chill. Strain into a rocks glass over ice. Grate nutmeg over the top and zest the orange twist over the top and discard.
1 liter Hennessy V.S
750ml Moet Champagne or Chandon sparkling white wine
1 liter apple juice
300ml simple syrup
300ml fresh lemon juice
20 dashes Angostura Orange Bitters
1 bunch mint
1 lemon, cut into wheels
Combine all liquid ingredients except Champagne in a punch bowl. Slap the mint punch against your hand several times to activate the aromatics. Add the mint and lemon to the bowl before adding Champagne. Stir to combine before adding a large ice block to chill. Serve with a ladle into punch or rock glasses.
Photos: Gym Class Heroes; Legendary MC Rev Run of Run DMC (right); rapper B.o.B., a guest on Saturday night; rapper Wiz Khalifa; and mixologist Jordan Bushell