All About Cognac

When it comes to Italy, there’s a good reason why it’s nicknamed the Wine Country! Italy is home to some of the world’s most renowned wines and mixed drinks. In fact, many of the staples that you consume probably came from Italy! Mare Oyster Bar is no exception to this rule, boasting an extensive selection of wine and cocktails. Amongst that selection, you may have noticed several variations of a drink called cognac. But, what exactly is it? We tell you everything you need to know about cognac below!

What Is Cognac?

Despite its popularity around the area, cognac isn’t actually from Wine Country! In fact, cognac is named after the commune that it first originated in, which is Cognac, France. It’s produced in many wine-growing regions around the area in a similar fashion to wine, but it’s actually not wine at all; it’s brandy! In order to be considered cognac, brandy must be aged for two years in oak barrels and distilled twice in copper pots. Once the process is done, you’ll have the proper drink!


If you’ve looked at the different options we carry for cognac on our menu, you may have noticed some strange symbols and lettering next to the different kinds. These symbols aren’t there for nothing; they actually represent the different categories and classifications of cognac! Check out what each of them means:

  • VS: An acronym standing for “Very Special”, VS is meant to represent cognac that has  aged for at least two years.
  • VSOP: This acronym stands for “Very Superior Old Pale”. This cognac is aged for at least four years.
  • XO: This acronym stands for “Extra Old”, and is used to describe cognac that has aged for at least 10 years. 

Like wine, aged cognac has a little bit more flavor than its counterparts, but it’s up to you to decide which one you like best.

Cognac at Mare Oyster Bar

Cognac is a wonderful French creation, and it deserves to be enjoyed in the ways you like it best. Mare Oyster Bar has a brilliant selection of wine and cocktails to perfectly complement our delicious assortment of fresh seafood and Italian cuisines that we serve. They say that seafood is fresher the closer it is to the sea, and that couldn’t be more true with our North End location! For the best seafood and beverage experience that Boston has to offer, click here to make a reservation.