ESSENCE.com caught up with Toccara and Jordan Bushell, Hennessy's very own mixologist to talk about the difference between Hennessy and other brands, mixing tips and more...
ESSENCE.com: How did you get involved with Hennessy?
TOCCARA JONES: I've been working with Hennessy for three years and this year Hennessy came up with a remix program where they hired a master mixologist Jordan Bushell.
ESSENCE.com: When you're out with your girls what kind of drink do you like to have?
JONES: When I'm out with my girls I like to do the Hennessy berry. Sometimes I like to mix it up with a little cranberry juice or ginger ale to remix it.
ESSENCE.com: There is a sweepstakes where a lucky winner will come out to NYC and receive a free mixology session with you two. What kind of tips will you be giving?
JORDAN BUSHELL: For me I'm going to be sharing some tips on mixology — sharing some ways to make any drink good. And what really makes a drink is a high quality based spirit. Also, fresh juices and other things. I always say nothing tastes more like a raspberry than an actual raspberry. So when you're playing with stuff like that all you need to do get balance between your sweet and sour and your spirit and you're going to have a great drink every time.
ESSENCE.com: Why should anyone choose Hennessy over any type of brand?
BUSHELL: Hennessy has got a really deep and rich history. What differentiates Hennessy from everyone else is quality control. You're going to get the same thing every time. They've got seven guys that meet every day from 11am to 1pm that sample all of the otvi to see how it's aging and they sample it before they put it in the barrels and to see that it will age well as a quality spirit. That kind of quality control is unheard of in the spirit world. When you go with Hennessy you know it's good.
ESSENCE.com: Though Hennessy is a dark liquid it's not quite like Brandy or Bourbon. Why is that?
BUSHELL: What I've found is that people tend to divide spirits between white and brown spirits. It's not exactly the way you want to be doing that. There's so many variations. A brown spirit gets it's coloration from aging in wood, yes, Bourbon is aged in wood — but it comes off as far stronger. To be compared with cognac is kind of doing an injustice because they're totally different. With Hennessy you're blending two to three year otvies to get a lot of different flavors — floral, apricot, spiciness from the french oak — it's really a much more diverse flavor profile.
Here's a fabulous drink for you and your girls to enjoy!
1 1/2 oz Hennessy
6 Mint Leaves
6 Mint Leaves
1/2 oz Raspberry juice
4 slices of Raspberry
1/4 oz fresh Lime juice
1/4 oz Ginger ale
2 Raspberry slices
Add 1 dash of Bitters
Place all ingredients except for Ginger ale in shaker, half fill shaker with crushed ice. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Empty contents of shaker, including ice into the High ball glass. Top the glass with more crushed ice, pour in the Ginger ale, stir gently with a bar spoon. Garnish with two raspberries.