French Connection Cocktail Recipe

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French Connection Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The French Connection is a classic cocktail that was popularized in the 1970s. It is named after the famous 1971 film 'The French Connection', starring Gene Hackman. The cocktail is a simple yet elegant mix of Cognac and Amaretto, which creates a smooth and sophisticated drink that is perfect for sipping on a night out or at a fancy dinner party.

How French Connection Tastes?

The French Connection has a rich, smooth, and slightly sweet taste with a hint of nuttiness from the Amaretto. The Cognac adds a depth of flavor and warmth, making it a perfect after-dinner drink.

Interesting facts about French Connection

  • The French Connection is named after the 1971 film, which won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
  • The cocktail is often served in a rocks glass over ice, but can also be served straight up in a martini glass.
  • The French Connection is a popular drink in France and is often enjoyed as an after-dinner digestif.



Cognac adds depth and warmth to the cocktail. Its rich and complex fruit notes balance the sweetness of the Amaretto. Using more than 1.5 oz might overshadow the Amaretto, while less may not provide enough body. Without it, you'd lose the signature warmth of the drink.

Mary Mitkina


Amaretto brings a sweet, almond-like flavor that makes the French Connection stand out. It complements the Cognac without overpowering it. Using too much can make the drink too sweet, using less can make it too subtle. Without Amaretto, you'd miss out on the nutty charm.

Alex Green


Ice is crucial for chilling the drink and adding a bit of dilution, which makes the flavors more cohesive. No ice means a warm and potentially overpowering drink.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make French Connection Drink

  1. Fill a rocks glass with ice.
  2. Pour 1.5 oz of Cognac over the ice.
  3. Add 0.75 oz of Amaretto.
  4. Stir gently to combine the ingredients.
  5. Optionally, garnish with a lemon twist or cherry.

Pro Tips

  • Cognac: Choose a high-quality cognac for a smoother taste.
  • Stirring: Stir gently to avoid diluting the drink too much.
  • Garnish: A lemon twist or cherry can add a nice touch of flavor and presentation.

Perfect Pairings

Cheese & Charcuterie Boards

Rich, nutty cheeses like Gouda or Comté and cured meats will complement the sweet and warm notes of the French Connection.

Dark Chocolate

A piece of dark chocolate can enhance the deep flavors of the cognac and the sweetness of the Amaretto.


Sweet desserts like tiramisu, crème brûlée, or almond biscotti pair beautifully with this cocktail's sweet and almond notes.


Enjoying the French Connection alongside a cup of strong coffee can create a delightful contrast.

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What you could change in French Connection

  • Cognac: Can be substituted with Brandy.
  • Amaretto: Can be substituted with a different nut-flavored liqueur such as Frangelico.

Explore all drinks starting with F here

And of course - twists🍹

Spicy Connection

  • Add a dash of Angostura bitters to introduce some spice.
  • Stick with the standard ratio of Cognac and Amaretto.
  • Garnish with an orange twist and a cinnamon stick. The bitters add complexity and a spicy kick. The orange and cinnamon garnish adds a seasonal and fragrant twist to this cozy classic.

Irish French Connection

  • Substitute Irish whiskey for Cognac.
  • Keep the Amaretto ratio.
  • Stir with ice and strain into a chilled glass. The Irish whiskey brings a smoother, slightly sweeter flavor profile with hints of vanilla and a lighter body compared to the heft of cognac.

French Caribbean Connection

  • Use Rum instead of Cognac.
  • Include a splash of coconut liqueur.
  • Serve over crushed ice in a snifter glass. This twist will have a more tropical, lighter taste with the sweet, molasses notes of rum and a hint of coconut playing alongside the Amaretto.

In case you forgot basics how to make French Connection

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on French Connection

What type of cognac is best for making a French Connection?

While any high-quality cognac can be used, a VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale) or XO (Extra Old) are often preferred for their smooth, aged flavors.

How does substitution of brandy affect the taste of French Connection?

Brandy is often sweeter and might not have the same depth of flavor as cognac, which could make the cocktail less complex.

Can I use anything else instead of Amaretto in the French Connection?

Other nut-flavored liqueurs could work, like hazelnut or walnut, but they will give a different flavor profile to the cocktail.

Is there a non-alcoholic version of the French Connection?

Yes, you can use non-alcoholic versions of cognac and amaretto, available at specialty food and drink stores, to create a non-alcoholic French Connection.

What is the origin of cognac used in the French Connection?

Cognac is a type of brandy that comes from the Cognac region in France. It's known for its unique distillation process that yields a rich, flavorful spirit.

Is there any other cocktail similar to French Connection?

The Godfather cocktail has a similar flavor profile, being made with whisky and amaretto instead of cognac.

What type of glassware is traditionally used for the French Connection?

The French Connection is traditionally served in a lowball or rocks glass, but it can be served in other types of glassware such as a snifter.

Can I pair the French Connection with food?

Yes, the French Connection can be paired with desserts, especially those featuring almonds or other nuts, to complement the amaretto in the cocktail.

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