Is Hennessy Cognac Gluten Free. Cognac Recipes and More

  • Hennessy cognac is a popular beverage from a distiller in France. 
  • Hennessy’s cognac produces pure distilled cognac. 
  • Cognac is a type of brandy produced in France’s Cognac.
  • Hennessy cognac is naturally free from gluten content.  

Is Hennessy cognac gluten free? The old time alcoholic drink that many love and admire, for people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity the question is quite an important one.

There’s something unique about the way cognac tastes in the mouth. It’s rich and fruity, with a distinct woody note.

The warmth in every sip of cognac is unmistakable. No wonder it is such a popular drink among connoisseurs around the world.

It is produced all over the French commune called Cognac, but the most famous one comes from Hennessy. But is Hennessy cognac gluten free?

Cognac is a distilled beverage made without using any gluten grains. It also doesn’t use gluten-containing fermenters.

But like all products made from gluten free ingredients, cognac may have flavoring agents or get contaminated. Plus, it’s stored in caskets that are sealed with flour paste.

But Hennessy cognac is made from gluten free ingredients, and it is free from allergens. 

Is Hennessy Cognac Gluten Free – What is Cognac

Is Hennessy Cognac Gluten Free

Cognac is a drink fit for someone of refined taste. This alcoholic beverage is celebrated around the world for bringing multiple layers of exquisite flavors.

Every sip of cognac brings you a complex mix of warm spices and fruits, with a distinct nuttiness of wood from the casket in which it is stored. 

Hennessy is one of the most popular distilleries to produce Cognac. Hennessy cognac is known among connoisseurs around the world because of its distinct flavors.

But is it gluten free and hence safe for people allergic to gluten or with celiac disease? Much to your joy, the answer is “yes“. 

Hennessy’s website makes it clear that all its products are certified to be free from allergenic substances.

Since gluten is an allergen, we can rightly assume that this drink is free from gluten. Besides, it is made from white wine. So, its source ingredient is grape, which is gluten free.

In addition, it is a distilled alcoholic drink, which further means that Hennessy cognac is gluten free.

Understanding Gluten in Cognac

Let’s break it down, shall we? You see, cognac is a kind of brandy exclusively made in the French commune of the same name.

The drink derives its name from the Cognac region. Brandy is made by distilling white wine made from fermented grapes. So cognac comes from grapes, a gluten free fruit. 

Another factor to consider here is that cognac is made by distilling white wine twice.

Any pure liquor that undergoes the process of distillation is gluten free. In fact, even alcohol made from wheat, barley, or rye can be considered gluten free if it is distilled. So, they are generally regarded as safe.  

But is that all? Actually, no. There are a few other factors to consider. The first thing to note is that the fermenter used in wine-making may contain gluten since the brewer’s yeast is not gluten free until mentioned otherwise. But wine is usually made from gluten free yeast.

Let’s not forget about cross-contamination and additives. There’s always the possibility of cross-contamination where the product may come in direct contact with gluten-containing items at any stage of making the cognac. Besides, flavoring agents or other additives in it may contain gluten.  

How Distillation Removes Gluten

Thankfully, the process of distillation helps to separate alcohol from non-volatile or less-volatile substances.

Gluten, which is a plant-based protein, cannot be vaporized during distillation. So, when wine undergoes the process of distillation twice to produce cognac, any trace of gluten is left behind. 

The final distillate is free from gluten and is safe for people who can’t consume gluten. But additives may be put into the cognac after distillation.

Besides, there are several steps from the process of distillation until the time this drink reaches your glass. Cross-contamination is possible at one stage. 

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Gluten in Barrel Seal of Cognac

You know that wine, brandy, and cognac go through an aging process. For this, they are usually kept in oak casks and barrels.

So what could be the problem with oak? It’s not the material of the barrel or casket that can contain gluten, but the sealing product.

The barrels or oaks are sealed with a paste made of flour derived from wheat or rye! 

As you can see, it may contain gluten. So, this seal may add gluten to the beverage aging inside. Thankfully, this gluten content will only be trace amounts.

It will be too low even to be detected by gluten-testing technology. The trace gluten will likely be limited to 5-10 ppm, which is less than the permitted amount of gluten, i.e., 20 ppm.    

In general, a food or beverage with such minuscule amounts of gluten is certified as gluten free. Most people don’t react to trace gluten.

Just a few rare cases of extreme gluten sensitivity may exist. Only those few people with severe gluten sensitivity may not be able to handle trace gluten in cognac. 

You can try a small amount of cognac as a test to see how your body reacts to cognac that has been aged in a barrel with a wheat or rye seal.

You can also talk to your physician about this. If you already have a history of reacting to trace gluten, it’s a good idea to find out more about your cognac.  

Hennessy cognac does not flaunt a GFCO certification, and we can assume that it is not tested for gluten content. However, it’s certified as free from all allergens, which means that it does not contain gluten either.

It is considered a safe drink by people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance. 

Shelf Life of Hennessy Cognac

We have all heard of the glory of old wine. But cognac, which is made by distilling wine and then aging in wooden caskets, stops aging, i.e., “getting better with age” once it is bottled.

That means it doesn’t go bad. It has an infinite shelf life and can last for decades in good condition.

This applies to both open and sealed bottles of cognac. It is true that once you open the bottle, the beverage comes in contact with the air, and the quality of the drink will gradually start to decline.

However, you can expect your cognac to stay in its best condition for about a decade or more. 

This does not mean that the drink will go bad or become unsafe, though its flavor may g deteriorate.

But it depends on its storage. If you can store an open bottle of cognac well, you won’t notice any identifiable change in flavor, color, or texture for at least a decade.

Storing Hennessy Cognac Properly

After the process of distillation, Hennessy Cognac is aged for two years in wooden barrels made of oak from Limousin or Troncais before it is bottled.

Once the liquor is put in a bottle, the aging of this cognac stops. But does that mean that the quality of the beverage declines after that? No, not at all. 

You must pay special attention to storing your bottle of Hennessy cognac. You may ignore the classic advice that the drink does not come into contact with the bottle cork.

But then again, you have to keep the bottle in a cool and dark place. It should not face any extremes of light or temperature. 

You should make sure that the storage place does not undergo drastic changes. Inconsistency in the ambiance will affect the quality of your Hennessy cognac, especially if the bottle is open.

It should be free from humidity, not only to preserve the beverage’s quality but also to keep the label intact. 

A Little about Hennessy Cognac

What quantity of cognac’s production can make a brand the largest producer of this glorious beverage in the world?

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That number is 50 million bottles each year – and this production level has been achieved by Hennessy. Over 40% of the world’s cognac demand is met by none other than Hennessy. 

Jas Hennessy & Co. belongs to Moët Hennessy that belongs to LVMH and Diageo. Headquartered in Cognac, this distillery is a French one – with an Irish collection.

The distillery was established in 1765 by Richard Hennessy, an Irish officer in the Jacobite Army. It was his son, James, who coined the name of the distillery in 1813.  

It was the fifth-generation descendant of the family, Killian, who initiated the merger of the company with Moët et Chandon to create Moët Hennessy in 1971.

Later, in 1987, Moët Hennessy merged with Louis Vuitton to form LVMH. Today, 34% of Hennessy is owned by the British company Diageo.

A first-time taster of Hennessy cognac might just sing, “You fill up my senses,” aloud. Once you take your first sip, you’ll taste dried fruits first. This will make way for spicy, chocolaty notes.

You also can’t miss the subtle toasty nuttiness that gets infused in it from the oak barrel in which it is aged.  

Made from luscious grapes grown in Charente, Hennessy cognac is made by a process of double-distillation for which copper pots are used.

After that, it is aged in oak barrels. Thus, Hennessy offers the world a range of flavor-packed, rich, luxury beverages that’s perfect for a true connoisseur.    

The Hennessy Cognac range includes different cognac variants, including their new products like Fine de Cognac, Hennessy Black, and Hennessy White.

Every now and then, they arrive in the market in some attractive packages, i.e., the collectors’ bottles. It is a beverage for authentic patrons, one that is appreciated by people across the world.

Health Benefits of Cognac

Cognac is a gift to the senses, alright. We already understand that this beverage is safe for people who are allergic to gluten or have celiac disease.

Hennessy’s cognac, in particular, is free from all allergens. But that’s not all. Cognac in moderation has several benefits.  

Recent research suggests that it also has some health benefits. This can lead to – 

  • Increase in the level of antioxidants 
  • Improvement of heart health
  • Prevention against cancer 
  • Reduction in chances of blood clots
  • Alleviation of vision problems 
  • Limitation of diabetes Risks
  • Decrease in gallstone risks

However, just because it has these health benefits does not mean you should drink it without moderation.

Ideally, to prevent health risks caused by excessive consumption of alcohol, you should not have more than a glass or two of cognac. Besides, don’t forget that the demand for the drink is far more than the supply. 

How to Drink Hennessy Cognac

Cognac may be derived from wine, but its taste and the method of tasting it are both different.

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Cognac can be served neat, with a little water, or on ice cubes. All of these methods of service cognac can be a pleasure.      

To experience the true glory of Hennessy cognac, it is served in two types of glasses –  

  • Tulip glass: It has a slim shape with a wider mouth to give you the maximum aroma.
  • Balloon glass: The flavors build inside the generous glass for an enhanced experience.   

While the balloon glass is the traditional brandy glass, connoisseurs prefer the tulip glass.

You can pair cognac with a cigar, coffee, or chocolate. It also teams well with a fancy meal of seafood or duck, as well as with fruits, nuts, and desserts. It is also used in cocktails. 

Hennessy Cognac Cocktail Recipes

Cognac, with its rich layers of flavors and aromas, is also a favorite ingredient in some classic cocktails.

Let’s take a look at some of the stunning Hennessy Cognac cocktails you can make in your home bar and impress your guests.  

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a) Hennessy Mule Cocktail

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Here’s a cocktail that highlights the spiciness of cognac with the punch of ginger beer.  

Ingredients:

  • Hennessy Very Special: 1.5 oz
  • Ginger beer: 3.5 oz
  • Lime wedge/ginger slice: For garnish

Instructions:

  • Take a rocks glass. 
  • Pour the cognac and the ginger beer into the glass. 
  • Add some ice cubes. 
  • Garnish the glass with a lime wedge or freshly sliced ginger. You can add both. 

It’s simple; it’s sophisticated. It’s absolutely unforgettable. 

b) Cognac Manhattan Cocktail

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A combination of sweet, bitter, and spicy, this recipe replaces the whiskey in the classic Manhattan with Hennessy cognac. 

Ingredients:

  • Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège: 1.75 oz 
  • Sweet vermouth: 0.75 oz
  • Angostura bitter: 2 dashes
  • Orange peel twist: 1 piece

Instructions:

  • Chill a champagne coupe/martini glass/lowball glass.
  • Take a mixing glass.
  • Put all the ingredients in it. 
  • Add eight ice cubes.
  • Stir everything in for 10 seconds.
  • Strain the mixture into the chilled serving glass.

Your Hennessy Manhattan Cocktail with Vermouth is ready to be served right away!

c) Cognac Mint Julep Cocktail

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The famous bourbon-based cocktail, mint julep, takes a twist with a touch of cognac. Check out the delectable cocktail’s recipe. 

Ingredients:

  • Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège: 1.75 oz
  • Mint leaves: 8 pieces
  • Simple syrup: ½ oz
  • Mint sprig (whole): To garnish

Instructions:

  • Take a tall Jupel glass.
  • Add eight mint leaves and crush them using a pestle. Pressing them gently will do the trick and release the flavors.
  • Add the syrup and the Hennessy, along with crushed ice. 
  • Using a bar spoon, stir the mix in the glass vigorously.  
  • Add more crushed ice if you want and place the mint sprig on top to finish it off.

It’s ready! To give the cocktail an interesting look, you can serve it in a metallic glass.

d) Hennessy Sunset Punch Cocktail

Is Hennessy Cognac Gluten Free
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This stunning drink is ideal for a pool party. Check out how to make it.

Ingredients:

  • Hennessy Very Special: 11 oz
  • Gin: 5 oz
  • Orange liqueur: 2 oz
  • Simple syrup: 2 cups
  • Lemon juice: 9 oz
  • Hibiscus grenade: 4 oz
  • Water: 17 oz
  • Orange bitters: 20 dashes
  • Grapefruit: 1 piece
  • Orange: 1 piece
  • Lemon: 2 pieces
  • Lime: 2 pieces

Instructions:

  • Take a large bowl. 
  • Combine all ingredients, except the fruits. 
  • Stir properly to dissolve the sugar. 
  • Cut all the fruits into wheels and 
  • Add ice to the punch, and let it chill. 

Now, doesn’t that sound like summer in a bowl?

e) Cognac French 75 Cocktail

Is Hennessy Cognac Gluten Free
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The classic French 75 demands champagne and gin. But our cognac twist will leave you asking for more. Take a look!

Ingredients:

  • Hennessy Very Special: 1.5 oz
  • Simple syrup: 0.5 oz
  • Lemon juice: 0.75 oz
  • Champagne/sparkling wine: To top the drink
  • Lemon twist: To garnish

Instructions:

  • Take a flute glass. 
  • Build the drink directly in the glass, i.e., stack the ingredients one after the other. 
  • Top the drink with champagne. You can also use sparkling wine instead. 
  • Use a lemon twist to garnish.  

You’ll love how the beautiful flavors of Hennessy cognac come out in this drink. 

Conclusion:

Hennessy cognac, made from white wine in copper containers, comes from gluten free grapes.

So, it is naturally gluten free. Besides, it undergoes distillation, a process that’s known to remove gluten from beverages.

So, it can be assumed that this beautiful drink is free from gluten content and can be safely consumed by anyone allergic to gluten or with celiac disease.

If you’re worried about cross-contamination or the flour paste used to seal caskets during the aging process, just remember that the amounts possibly added by these are extremely low.

The presence of trace gluten in any cognac will hardly cause allergic reactions unless you’re severely allergic.   

But most importantly, Hennessy’s website clearly states that all its products are free from allergens.

There are no reported cases of allergic reactions caused by this drink. So crack open that bottle of Hennessy cognac and pour yourself a glass of it.

If you absolutely cannot stop worrying, start by taking a small amount to test it, or speak to your physician first.

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About the Author: Johnny

I am the senior editor and writer of Gluten Free Heroes, before that, I wrote for various well established online magazines about food and health. I love working out, traveling and eating healthy.