An Intimate Evening with the D'USSÉ Cellar Master
In honor of its 5th anniversary D’USSÉ cognac Cellar Master, Monsieur Michel Casavecchia, is taking a tour of the world as he educates and shares his love for the revitalization of cognac. Born from the prestigious Chateau de Cognac, France, D’USSÉ blends over 200 years of tradition with the inspiration of Michel’s passion to create a new blend that appeals to a wider audience. Even within the defined region, cognac must meet the authorized standards set down by the BNIC (Bureau National Interprofessionel du Cognac). Michel’s inexorable commitment to Cognac has led him to his elite position at the Château de Cognac, where he has spent more than a decade overseeing the creation of some of the world’s finest cognacs.
Monsieur Michel Casavecchia is the Cellar Master of the prestigious Château de Cognac and the creator of both D’USSÉ VSOP and D’USSÉ XO. He is proud to be part of the privileged line of heirs of the Baron Otard, charged with perpetuating the tradition of the knowledge of blending ‘eau-de-vie’ (water of life) into Cognac.
We were excited to find out that Miami was a stop on his tour and we jumped at the chance to sip some cocktails and have dinner with Michel while he was in town. A cognac pairing dinner took place at Soho Beach House and we made sure to be in attendance.
Upon arrival we were greeted with French 75 cocktails featuring, of course, D’USSÉ. D’USSÉ [dew-say] is a bold new expression of Cognac that dares the palate like never before. Born from the prestigious Chateau de Cognac, France, D’USSÉ blends over 200 years of tradition with the inspiration of passionate Cellar Master Michel Cassavecchia, who set out to create his own legacy. The result is a uniquely powerful, authentic Cognac that starts off with distinguished intensity and then gives way to a pleasantly smooth, balanced finish.
Once everyone was gathered we made our way to the table, where I was lucky enough to get a spot right next to Michel. Our French 75s were replaced with a D’USSÉ Spritz made with the VSOP Cognac, semi-dried hard cider, house-chai concentrate, pecan, honey and soda. The first course of baked meatballs, grilled octopus, tuna tartare, and watermelon salad paired well with the soft and sweet cocktail. D’USSÉ VSOP is the perfectly balanced blend of selected Cognacs aged at least 4 ½ years in French oak barrels in the Chateau’s unique dry and humid cellars.
Our main course of wild mushroom risotto, pan-seared branzino, and lamb chops with broccolini were up to the task of being paired with a more bold cocktail. This time we were served a fall themed D’USSÉ Pumpkin made with VSOP, bitter apertif, pumpkin spice, lemon, and brown buttered sage. It was my first taste of pumpkin of the season and I loved every sip of it.
Dessert was paired with a simple sipping size serving of D’USSÉ XO neat. Launched in 2014, D’USSÉ XO is the second Cognac expression from Bacardi’s D’USSÉ portfolio, and represents yet another great innovation from the company. Maitre de Chai Michel Casavecchia meticulously hand-selects his finest eaux-de-vie to create the blend of D’USSÉ XO Cognac. The eaux-de-vie used in D’USSÉ XO Cognac are aged a minimum of 10 years in French oak casks. This cognac was the perfect nightcap and was delicious with the berry cheesecake it was served with.
The conversation flowed throughout dinner and Michel shared with me the processed used to make the various cognac, his many years of studying, and who drinks cognac. The United States drinks more cognac than anywhere else in the world, followed by China, and then Nigeria. The more you know right? All in all it was a wonderful cognac filled evening and I’m so happy I was able to attend and sip the night away.
Want to make your own D’USSÉ cocktail? Check out these recipes that are easy to make at home:
- 1½ parts D’USSÉ® VSOP Cognac
- 1 part DISARONNO® Originale Liqueur
- 2 parts fresh pineapple juice
SERVE: Shake and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. GARNISH: Lemon wedge
D’USSÉ ® SIDECAR
- 1½ parts D’USSÉ® VSOP Cognac
- 1 part triple sec
- ¾ part freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ part sugar
SERVE: Shake and strain into a sugar-rimmed coupe glass. GARNISH: Lemon peel
TIP: To create a unique take on the Sidecar, substitute the triple sec with ¾ part of Giffard Framboise to create the D’USSÉ® Framboise Sidecar.