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French Connection Cocktail

The French Connection cocktail has a fun name and is super easy to craft at home. However, don’t underestimate this two-ingredient cocktail that tastes greater than the sum of its two parts. It’s a cocktail keeper.

French Connection Cocktail with Black Background
Image: ©2foodtrippers

The French Connection intrigued us before we took our first sips…

For starters, its name reminds us of France. After multiple visits to cities like Paris, Lyon, Dijon and Strasbourg as well as Marseille, we feel a connection to the hexagonal nation.

And, since we met at an Oscars party, we also have an affinity for movies that have won Academy awards. You guess it – this cocktail was named after The French Connection movie.

What Is A French Connection Cocktail?

French Connection Cocktail from Above Close Up
Who doesn’t love a two-ingredient cocktail? | Image: ©2foodtrippers

A French Connection cocktail is a two-ingredient cocktail crafted with equal parts of Amaretto and Cognac.

It’s also a sweet, potent and easy drink to sip after dinner, preferably next to a fireplace and with a special someone.

History Of The French Connection Cocktail

French Connection Cocktail on Ledge
The French Connection sports a cosmopolitan taste that fits its cosmopolitan name. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

While somebody somewhere invented the French Connection cocktail, we don’t know who to thank or where that happened. But we do know a couple key things…

We know that the two-ingredient cocktail first showed up in bars in the ‘me decade’ of the 1970s. This is the same decade that The French Connection debuted in movie theaters.

We also know that The French Connection won five Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film Editing. The movie told the story of Popeye Doyle and Cloudy Russo, as portrayed by Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider, and included one of Hollywood’s greatest chase scenes ever.

And, although neither Hackman nor Scheider imbibed a French Connection cocktail in The French Connection movie, the drink and the film are forever entwined.

Discover our favorite cocktails that were actually invented in France.

Ingredients

French Connection Cocktail Liquor Bottles
Amaretto and cognac are the liquors that connect the French Connection’s dots. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Our French Connection cocktail only has the following ingredients:

  • Amaretto
  • Cognac
  • Large Ice Cube

Yes, the French connection is a 2-ingredient cocktail not counting the ice. There are no mixers. There are no garnishes. You just need two liquors and, if you’re like us, you already have them in your home bar.

Amaretto

Amaretto Bottle
Amaretto is one of Italy’s finest contributions to the cocktail world. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Based in Italy’s Lombardy region, Disarrono is the world’s most prolific amaretto producer. Its almond flavored liqueur has a 28% ABV but, ironically, doesn’t contain any almonds. Instead, Disarrono uses apricot kernels to achieve its nutty sweet flavor.

Cognac

bottle of Courvoisier Cognac
The same goes for cognac and France. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Distilled in Cognac, Courvoisier V.S. cognac has a 40% ABV. This twice-distilled, barrel-aged brandy is great for sipping by itself or on the rocks. It’s a relatively affordable cognac choice that helps fuel this and other cocktails.

How To Craft A French Connection Cocktail

French Connection Cocktail Mise en Place
Assembling the ingredients and tools to craft a French Connection cocktail is ridiculously easy. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

The first step in this recipe is to place a large ice ice cube into a lowball glass.

You can use small ice cubes; however, a large cube is the better way to go. Not only do large ice cubes displace more liquid which chills cocktails faster, they also melt more slowly. Additionally, large ice cubes are très soigné.

Adding Ice to French Connection Cocktail
We like big ice cubes. We cannot lie. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Next, measure the amaretto and cognac in a 1:1 ratio. Pour the two liquors directly into the lowball glass as you measure each. We use a Japanese jigger to get accurate measurements and easy pours for both of these liquids.

Buy a Japanese jigger from Amazon if you need a jigger or want an inexpensive upgrade.

Pouring Liquor into a French Connection Cocktail
The French Connection cocktail had us with amaretto and sealed the deal with cognac. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

The final step is to gently stir the cocktail with a bar spoon. That’s it. This cocktail doesn’t require any garnishes or hoopla.

Stirring French Connection Cocktail
A quick stir finished this cocktail. All that was left to do was sip and smile. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

You could hypothetically add orange peel or a maraschino cherry but don’t do it. We prefer the French Connection without any accoutrements. We suspect that you will too.

Variations

French Connection Cocktail with Liquor Bottles
We like our French Connection recipe just the way it is. Will you feel the same? | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Consider the following options if the French Connection inspires your creative juices:

  • Adjust the 1:1 ratio to include more amaretto to craft a sweeter French Connection cocktail.
  • Adjust the 1:1 ratio to include more cognac to craft a drier French Connection cocktail.
  • Skip the ice cube and serve the French connection cocktail straight.
  • Replace the cognac with brandy to craft a Godchild cocktail.
  • Replace the cognac with scotch to craft a Godfather cocktail.

Discover 10 essential bar tools for the home mixologist.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the ingredients in a French Connection Cocktail?

Amaretto, Cognac and a Large Ice Cube

What’s the best cognac to use in a French Connection Cocktail?

You should use your favorite cognac in this cocktail recipe. We typically use Courvoisier VS Cognac but any cognac will work just fine.

Is the French Connection Cocktail shaken or stirred?

The French Connection Cocktail is stirred, not shaken.

What type of glass is best for the French Connection Cocktail?

We like to serve this cocktail in a lowball glass and you should do the same.

Did you craft this cocktail? If so, please rate the recipe below.

French Connection Cocktail from Above
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5 from 1 vote

French Connection Recipe

Craft a French Connection cocktail with two ingredients and an ice cube.
Prep Time2 minutes
Total Time2 minutes
Course: Drink
Cuisine: Cocktail
Servings: 1
Calories: 229kcal

Ingredients

  • ounces cognac
  • ounces amaretto
  • large ice cube

Instructions

  • Place a large ice cube into a lowball glass.
  • Pour cognac and amaretto into the glass.
  • Gently stir.

Notes

  • You can use several small ice cubes if you don't have a large ice cube tray.

Estimated Nutrition

Calories: 229kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 0.04g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.04g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 14mg | Sugar: 14g | Calcium: 0.4mg | Iron: 0.1mg
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About The Authors

About The Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website. Since launching the site in 2012, they’ve traveled to over 40 countries in their quest to bring readers their unique taste of the world.

Disclosures

Article Updates
We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

Funding
We purchased the ingredients and tools used to craft this cocktail.

Original Publication Date: December 16, 2022

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