How to Enjoy Brandy
Brandy is a strong alcoholic spirit distilled from wine or fermented fruit. It’s typically aged in wooden containers, 50% alcohol by volume and has a rich, deep amber color. The origins of brandy are actually quite unique, the name itself comes from the Dutch word brandewijn, meaning burnt wine, referencing the warm feeling you get when you take that very first sip.
The commercial distribution of brandy began during the 16th century when it was produced from wine; a Dutch shipmaster began concentrating his wine in order to cut back on transportation costs, he simply informed those receiving it to add water back into the wine to return it to its proper state. However, the concentrated beverage quickly became the preferred drink, and buyers started to demand this new substance more than the wine.
Brandy can be enjoyed a few different ways, and it really comes down to preference! As a strong alcoholic beverage, some enjoy it straight and others might prefer it mixed into a drink with a more subtle taste. Keep reading to learn different ways to enjoy brandy!
4 Ways to Enjoy Brandy
Drinking brandy neat, meaning by itself even without ice, is the best way to truly experience all the flavor it has to offer. Adding ice or mixers waters down and changes the flavor of the brandy. This way of drinking is typically reserved for high quality, aged brandy, as adding mixers or ice would greatly take away from the quality. Using a brandy snifter (a short glass with a wide base and sides that taper in at the top) also allows the drinker to hold the glass in the palm of their hand, gently warming the drink. This releases all the flavorful aromas of the beverage and enhances the taste..
If you’ve never tried a brandy sidecar before, you’re in for a delicious and unique experience. The drink infuses smooth brandy with lemon juice and triple sec, and finishes with a lemon wedge garnish. It’s tart, strong and smooth and a great option for enjoying brandy.
1/2 oz. Brandy
1/2 oz. Triple Sec
1/2 oz. Lemon Juice
Fill a cocktail shaker 1/2 full with ice, pour in ingredients, cover and shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass and add a wedge of lemon for a garnish.
Is there a drink more classic than an old fashioned? It’s the perfect mix of sweet and strong, made with bubbly soda and smooth brandy (typically in Wisconsin, some old fashioned drinks are made with whiskey or bourbon). Brandy became popular for use in this beverage in 1893 at the Chicago World’s Fair, when a brandy distiller started using it instead of whiskey, and the crowd quickly took to the drink.
2 oz. Brandy
2-3 Dashes Bitters
1/2 Tsp Sugar
Maraschino Cherries (optional)
Smash sugar, bitters, orange slice, a cherry, and a dash of water in your glass. Add brandy and ice and stir, top off with bubbly soda and garnish with more orange and cherries if desired.
The classic Manhattan cocktail dates all the way back to the late 1800s. While similar to an old fashioned, this drink uses sweet vermouth and some of the juice from the maraschino cherries for a sweeter, more unique taste. It’s served straight without ice and has a pleasant, strong taste.
2 oz. Brandy
1/2 oz. Sweet Vermouth
2 Dashes Bitters
1 tsp Maraschino Cherry Juice
Fill glass with ice, pour in cherry juice, cherry, bitters, brandy, sweet vermouth and water and stir.
Brandy is enjoyed in many different ways and in many different parts of the world. Since it often comes from wine, most wine-producing countries also make brandy, otherwise known as cognac in France, but it can also be made from apples, peaches, plums and more. There’s many variables to choose from when enjoying brandy in terms of type of brandy and how to drink it, pick up a bottle today and discover your favorite!