Coolest bar in Cognac? It’s Bar Luciole, a relaxing and pared down venue set near the banks of the Charente River and recently co-launched by drinks industry superstar Tony Conigliaro (Bar Termini, Bar with No Name, and Untitled) and bartending wunderkind Guillaume Le Dorner.
As you might expect (and would be surprised to realise no one else came up with this not terribly novel idea before these guys) Bar Luciole specialise in cocktails made with the local claim to fame as their key ingredients.
The bar had opened only a couple of weeks before my visit in late June. To my eyes it seemed already to be a firmly established place on the social map of the town and the de facto bar for quality drinks. It was fairly buzzing for a midweek early evening – and nearly capacity when I left for dinner.
A sip or so into my first drink and I certainly could see why it was proving to be such a hit with the locals. By my second, I was wishing I was on the home team too!
A classique Sidecar (Cognac VSOP, triple sec, lemon), was a real treat. And from the bar’s signature drinks list, I loved the Walnut Sour (Cognac VSOP, pineau des Charentes, lemon, cane sugar and walnut bitters). Both were very reasonably priced at £8.50 each.
I liked the décor and the lighting at Bar Luciole (minimal, comfortable) and loved the giant back wall shelved with what must be the biggest and most diverse assemblage of Coganc bottles on view to the public. Not just a great place for a properly mixed cocktail, Bar Luciole is ace for tasting a range of Cognacs and receiving an education on what’s available and best suits your palate.
A VSOP from Chateau de Montifaud was a new one for me but a quaff that I was glad to have recommended to me by Le Dorner, who was working behind the bar on the occasion when I was there.
Bar Luciole is located at 14 Place du Solencon, 16100 Cognac. Find out more at bar-luciole.com.
Stay tuned for more Cognac: Spirit of Place posts coming soon.