Win a ₱50,000 mystery box! Every order amounting ₱2,500 will earn you one raffle entry. Registered users only! Earn ₱200 Cashback coins when you create an account!

Brandy Guide: What to Buy and How to Drink Your Brandy

Brandy Guide: What to Buy and How to Drink Your Brandy

Brandy, a sophisticated and timeless spirit, has captivated the hearts of connoisseurs for centuries. With its rich history and diverse flavor profiles, it’s no wonder that brandy continues to be a popular choice among discerning drinkers. 

If you’re new to the world of brandy or simply looking to expand your knowledge of the various kinds of brandy, you’ve come to the right place. In this Brandy Guide, we will delve into the different types and origins of brandy, provide expert advice on what to buy, and share tips on how to drink and savor this exquisite spirit. 

So, sit back, pour yourself a glass, and let’s embark on a journey through the captivating world of brandy. Cheers!

What is Brandy?

Brandy is a distilled spirit made from fermented fruit juice, most commonly grapes. The name “brandy” comes from the Dutch word “brandewijn,” meaning “burnt wine.” This versatile drink has been enjoyed for centuries and is known for its rich, complex flavors and warming sensation. There are several kinds of brandy, including Cognac, Armagnac, and fruit brandies like Calvados (made from apples) and Kirsch (made from cherries).

How Brandy is Made

The process of making brandy typically involves three main steps: fermentation, distillation, and aging. First, the fruit juice is fermented, turning the natural sugars into alcohol. Next, the fermented juice is distilled to concentrate the alcohol and remove impurities, resulting in a clear spirit. Finally, the distilled spirit is aged in oak barrels, allowing it to develop its signature color, aroma, and flavor profile.

Ingredients

The primary ingredient in brandy is fruit juice, most commonly grape juice. However, other fruits such as apples, pears, cherries, and plums can also be used to create unique and flavorful brandies. In addition to fruit juice, water and sometimes sugar is added during the fermentation process to ensure proper alcohol content and balance the flavors.

Alcohol Percentage of Brandy

The alcohol content of brandy can vary depending on the distillation process and aging, but most brandies have an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 35-60%. Some high-end brandies, like Cognac and Armagnac, may have a slightly higher ABV due to their longer aging process and strict production regulations. 

It’s essential to enjoy brandy responsibly and savor its intricate flavors and aromas, as the higher alcohol content can be deceivingly smooth.

Types of Brandy

There are numerous kinds of brandy produced worldwide, each with its unique characteristics, flavor profiles, and production methods. In this section, we’ll explore some of the most popular types of brandy to help you discover your next favorite sip.

1. Cognac

Cognac is a renowned type of brandy hailing from the Cognac region in France. Made from specific grape varieties, it must be double distilled in copper pot stills and aged for a minimum of two years in French oak barrels. Cognac is known for its complex flavors, including notes of fruit, spice, and oak. It’s classified into different age categories: V.S. (Very Special), V.S.O.P (Very Superior Old Pale), and X.O. (Extra Old).

2. Armagnac

Armagnac, another French brandy, comes from the Gascony region. Like Cognac, it is made from specific grape varieties but is typically single-distilled in column stills, resulting in a bolder, more robust flavor profile. Armagnac is also aged in French oak barrels, with classifications based on age: V.S., V.S.O.P., and X.O.

3. American Brandy

American brandy is primarily produced in California, using various grape varieties. It can be aged in new or used oak barrels, which imparts diverse flavors and colors to the spirit. American brandy is often more affordable than its European counterparts, making it an excellent option for those looking to explore the world of brandy without breaking the bank.

4. Brandy de Jerez

Brandy de Jerez originates from the Jerez region in Spain. It is made from the Palomino grape and aged using the Solera system, which involves blending brandies of different ages to create a consistent product. Brandy de Jerez is known for its rich, dark color and unique flavors, including notes of dried fruit, nuts, and spices.

5. Calvados

Calvados is a type of apple brandy produced in the Normandy region of France. Made from fermented apple cider, it is distilled and aged in oak barrels, developing flavors of apples, spices, and wood. The aging process can range from two years to several decades, resulting in a wide array of flavor profiles and price points.

6. Fruit Brandies

Fruit brandies are made by distilling fermented fruit other than grapes. They come in many varieties, each showcasing the unique flavors and characteristics of the fruit used. Some popular fruit brandies include:

Grappa

Grappa is an Italian brandy made from the pomace (skins, seeds, and stems) left over after winemaking. It has a distinctive, rustic flavor profile and can be enjoyed as a digestif after a meal. 

Grappa typically contains 35 to 60 percent alcohol by volume, making it important to consume responsibly and savor its unique flavors.

Applejack

Applejack is an American apple brandy with a history dating back to colonial times. It is made by distilling fermented apple cider and has a sweet, fruity flavor profile.

Rakia

Rakia is a fruit brandy popular in the Balkans, often made from plums, apricots, or grapes. It is typically enjoyed as a digestif and can have a wide range of alcohol content, from 40% to 60% ABV.

Which Brandy Should You Buy?

In the Philippines, you have various brandy options to choose from. Emperador is a widely known choice, made from grapes and other fruits, featuring a smooth taste perfect for cocktails. Some other favored brands include Fundador, Baco Solera, Decano Solera, and Bardinet XO 6 Yrs. change to fundador, torres, alfonso and emperador.

Fundador boasts a Spanish-style brandy aged for six years in oak barrels, offering a sweet flavor with hints of vanilla and caramel. Baco Solera, an Italian-style brandy, is aged for up to ten years in oak barrels and presents a rich flavor with notes of dried fruit and spices. 

Decano Solera, another Italian-style option, is aged for up to twenty years in oak barrels and delivers an intense flavor with dark chocolate and coffee undertones Lastly, Bardinet XO 6 Yrs, a French-style brandy, is aged for six years in oak barrels and provides a smooth taste with hints of vanilla and spices. Change brand

When selecting a brandy to purchase in the Philippines, consider both your budget and personal preferences for taste and aroma. All these brands offer great quality at reasonable prices, ensuring you’ll find the perfect fit for your requirements.

Ready to explore these amazing brandy choices? Visit Thirst now and browse their extensive collection of premium brandies. Find the perfect brandy to satisfy your palate and elevate your drinking experience. Don’t wait – shop at Thirst today!

FAQs

Is brandy sweet or whiskey?

Brandy is neither a sweet nor a whiskey; it is a distilled spirit made from fermented fruit juice, most commonly grapes. While some brandies may have sweeter flavor profiles due to the fruit used or the aging process, they are distinct from whiskies, which are made from fermented grains.

What do you mix with brandy?

While brandy is often enjoyed neat or on the rocks, it can also be used in a variety of cocktails. Some popular brandy-based drinks include the Brandy Alexander, Sidecar, and French Connection. You can also mix brandy with simple ingredients like ginger ale, soda water, or lemonade for a refreshing and easy-to-make beverage.

Is brandy heavy alcohol?

The alcohol content of brandy can vary depending on the distillation process and aging, but most brandies have an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 35-60%. This makes brandy a relatively strong alcoholic beverage, so it’s essential to enjoy it responsibly and savor its intricate flavors and aromas.

Is brandy a strong drink?

Yes, brandy is considered a strong drink due to its alcohol content, which typically ranges from 35-60% ABV. The higher alcohol content can be deceivingly smooth, so it’s important to consume brandy responsibly and appreciate its complex flavors.

Related Articles