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What Is Brandy Made With?

    Brandy is a popular drink with a long history and a rich flavor. It comes from Europe but is enjoyed all over the world. People like to drink brandy in different ways, like by itself, with ice, or mixed into cocktails. Brandy is made by fermenting fruit, usually grapes, but sometimes other fruits like apples or pears.

    The liquid is then distilled to make it stronger and tastier. Next, it’s aged in wooden barrels to give it a smooth, deep flavor and a golden color. The type of fruit, how it’s distilled, and how long it’s aged all affect how the brandy tastes. This article will talk about the ingredients and steps to make brandy and why it’s so special.

    What Is Brandy?

    Brandy is a type of alcohol made from fermented fruit juices. Most Brandy comes from distilled wine, but different kinds can be made from fruits like pears, cherries, and apples.

    The name Brandy comes from a Dutch word brandewijn, which means “burnt wine.” Merchants in Cognac and Armagnac started distilling their wines to keep them from going bad during travel.

    In the 1600s, farmers in these areas began focusing on making Brandies instead of wine because of high demand. These Brandies were named after the towns where they were made.

    What Is Brandy Made With?

    Brandy got its name from the Dutch word brandewijn, which means “burned wine.” It’s a strong drink made by distilling fermented fruit juice or pulp. The classic kind is made from grapes, but other types can be made from apples, pears, apricots, cherries, peaches, or plums.

    There are no worldwide rules for making brandy, but some places are known for making a certain type that has to meet certain standards. The process of making brandy can differ depending on the type and where it’s made, but there are four main steps involved.

    The fruit is turned into wine by adding yeast to the mashed fruit, which changes the sugars in the fruit into alcohol.

    The wine is made into a strong alcohol by distilling it. Copper pots are commonly used for this, but some use continuous column stills instead.

    Brandy is usually stored in wooden barrels for a few years to 30 years.

    This helps the clear liquid to become smoother and take on flavors from the wood, turning it into a golden color. Brandies that haven’t been aged are called eau-de-vie and may be stored in steel tanks for a bit to soften.

    The last thing to do is mix many barrels of brandy and water together until it tastes just right and is ready to be bottled.

    Types Of Brandy

    Other than regular brandy made from grapes, there are different types of brandy. These special categories are determined by where it’s made and the specific methods used to make the brandy.

    1. Cognac

    Cognac is a type of brandy that is protected by a special law in France. It can only be made in the Cognac region using certain types of grapes. These grapes must make up at least 90 percent of the total. The process of making cognac involves distilling the liquid twice and aging it in barrels for at least two years. The age of the cognac is shown by labels like VS or VSOP.

    2. Armagnac

    Another fancy French brandy, Armagnac, is also protected by rules that only allow it to be made in a specific region in southwest France. The rules also limit the types of grapes that can be used and how they are distilled. Armagnac is known for its strong flavors and is aged for different amounts of time, which is shown on the label.

    3. Brandy de Jerez

    This type of Spanish brandy is made all over Spain but has to be aged in the Jerez area down south. Many use the solera system for aging. They add younger spirits to older barrels, take some out, then add more brandy. This makes the brandy sweeter and tastier.

    4. Pisco

    Pisco is a type of brandy from South America, mainly made in Peru and Chile. There are four types of pisco based on the grapes used. Peruvian pisco is not aged, while Chilean pisco is usually aged. It is typically stronger than other types of brandy, with alcohol levels ranging from 30% to 50% ABV (60 to 100 proof).

    5. American Brandy

    In the United States, there are no specific rules for making brandy. American brandy is often made by wineries or in wine regions, mostly on the West Coast. Recently, more small distilleries all over the country have started making brandy from grapes grown nearby.

    6. Eau-de-vie

    This French word for fruit brandy means “water of life.” The fruit taste is usually subtle, and the alcohol is clear and not aged. It’s similar to German schnapps and can be made from different fruits like apple, pear, peach, pomace, and yellow plum. It’s also used to make sweet, flavored liqueurs.

    7. Grappa

    Like eau-de-vie de marc from France, Italy’s grappa started as a way to use up leftover grape parts from making wine. Grappa is made by fermenting and distilling grape skins, stems, and seeds. It is usually clear and not aged, but some makers do age it in barrels, which can give it a yellow or red color.

    8. Flavored Brandy

    This category is broad because brandy can be made from any type of fruit that can be fermented. The most popular types of brandies worldwide are apple, apricot, cherry, and peach. Some other flavors include ouzo (a Greek brandy with anise flavor), kirschwasser (a German cherry brandy), and Calvados (a specialty apple brandy from Normandy, France). Applejack is often a mix of neutral spirit and apple brandy; one of the best-known brands is Laird’s Applejack.

    How Do You Drink Brandy?

    Brandy is often drunk after dinner to help with digestion. People usually drink it on its own in a special glass called a snifter.

    Cognac is really good to drink by itself. Other types of brandy, like California brandy, are also good on their own or mixed in drinks like Old Fashioned, Brandy Sour, Brandy Manhattan, Vieux Carre, and Brandy Alexander.

    What Does Brandy Taste Like?

    Generally, brandy is sweet and fruity. It has the strong alcohol taste and oak hints of whiskey combined with the smoothness of sweet wine. The longer the brandy ages, the smoother and oakier its flavor gets. Also, different fruit brandies and styles will have unique flavors compared to traditional grape brandy.

    Brandy is a fancy drink made from fermented fruit juice, mostly grapes but also apples, pears, and cherries. It’s made by fermenting, distilling, and aging the juice in wooden barrels to give it a nice taste and smoothness. Each step, from picking the fruit to aging it, affects the final flavor. Knowing how brandy is made can help you enjoy it more, whether you drink it straight, on ice, or mixed in cocktails.

    Thanks for reading. I hope you find it interesting. 🍷🍷

    Read More: What Country Is Champagne From?

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