Brandy Brandy is one of the most popular spirits today, which boasts a long history.

History does not have exact data on when exactly the brandy appeared. It is believed to have been pioneered by French wine merchants. They were faced with the fact that most of the drinks in their trade assortment had a very short shelf life. Stronger wine, which was obtained by distillation, was better preserved, but before serving it, it had to be diluted. Only over time did the traders notice that after this concentrate, which in its pure form was practically unusable, was infused for some time in a wooden barrel, its taste changed for the better [1]

The very name "brandy" comes from the English word brandywine ("burnt wine"). This is the name of the product that was obtained by distilling fermented grape wine. Its strength varies from 40% to 60% [2]

Caloric content and chemical composition

The calorie content of 100 g of brandy is 237 kcal. Of the nutritional elements, the brandy contains only carbohydrates in the amount of 0.5 g per 100 g of the product, there are no fats and proteins.

If we talk about minerals, then 100 g of a quality drink contains 4 mg of sodium, 1 mg of potassium and 0.03 mg of copper [3]

Brandy classification

Experts often note that brandy is not even the name of a separate product, but a whole family of alcoholic beverages prepared using a special technology. It is difficult to disagree with this point of view, if we recall the huge number of types of brandy that exist in different countries of the world. Two of them managed to gain the greatest fame - cognac and armagnac.

  • Caloric content and chemical composition
  • Brandy classification
  • Brandy production technology
  • Exposure period
  • What brandy goes with
  • How to drink brandy properly
  • Curious facts
  • Cooking brandy cocktails

Cognac is an alcoholic drink originally from France. It owes its name to the city of the same name, where its production began in due time. Cognac has long been a major port city. One of the most popular goods here was wine, which was made from grapes grown in Poitou. After the end of the Hundred Years War, many vineyards were destroyed, as a result of which winemaking fell into decay. It was possible to restore the production of wines only by the 16th century, but their quality deteriorated markedly. Dutch traders who came to Cognac for French wines, disappointed with the poor quality of the goods, found a way out: they began to use special distillation devices that distilled local wines into the notorious “burnt wine” (brandywine). It was assumed that in this form, the drink could be transported by sea to the countries of Northern Europe, in order to dilute it with water on the spot to the original states.

Local French winemakers became interested in the technology and improved it at their own discretion. As a result, they learned how to produce a wine distillate, which was distinguished by a rich taste, exquisite aroma, and, in addition, due to storage in oak barrels, its quality improved so much that it could be drunk without diluting it with water. They hurried to patent the novelty. As a result, today only drinks produced in a certain geographical area using a special technology have the right to bear the proud name "cognac", and in 1936 the cognac received Appellation d'origine contrôlée - a certificate of origin control [4]

 Armagnac Armagnac is also originally from France. Traditionally, this is the name of brandy, which was produced in the province of Gascony and for twelve years aged in oak barrels. Armagnac got its name thanks to the knight Herreman (Arminius), who lived in the 10th century and was the owner of vineyards. The wineries owned by Arminius produced alcohol obtained from grapes. Over time, the production technology became more complex, as a result of which, by the 18th century, an absolutely new drink with a wonderful color, noble soft taste and rich aroma appeared. Today, the territory of production of Armagnac is limited by the region of the same name, divided into zones, and the right to be named accordingly has only a drink produced in this territory from white grapes of traditional varieties in one of two ways. Defined by law [5] [6]

However, the classification of brandy is not at all limited to cognac and armagnac. Here are just a few of its types that have won the recognition and love of gourmets:

  • Divin is a brandy produced in Moldova and tastes like its French counterparts.
  • Arbun is an Armenian brandy.
  • Metaxa is a drink from Greece that was patented at the end of the 19th century. Manufacturers keep the exact recipe secret. The description of the cooking technology is also kept like the apple of an eye. It is only known that metaxa producers use double distillation, and the raw materials are grapes from Attica, from Crete and from Corinth. The aging period of this brandy is from 3 to 15 years, while observing a strict temperature regime. The strength of the finished brandy reaches 40% [7]
  • California brandy is light, with a lower strength than the traditional one.
  • Sherry brandy - the brainchild of Spanish winemakers [8]
  • Pliska is a brandy made from dimyat grapes, which is produced in Bulgaria.
  • All of the above types of brandy are made from grapes. However, winemakers have long since learned how to make a popular drink from other fruits and berries. We list just a few unconventional brands of brandy that have a very original taste:

  • Calvados is an apple brandy produced in France in the Lower Normandy area. It is prepared as follows: apple and pear cider is fermented with yeast, and then subjected to double distillation. The first mentions of Calvados are found in the manuscripts of the 16th century, and the drink got its name in honor of one of the Norman departments. In 1942, like cognac, Calvados received the Appellation d'origine contrôlée - a certificate of origin control.
  • Kirsch, also sometimes referred to simply as kirsch, is a brandy of French-German origin. This drink is prepared by distilling fermented cherry wort with pits. In this case, only a certain variety of cherries is used: very sweet and small berries are almost black in color. During production, the fruits are used whole, together with the seeds, due to which the product receives a special, slightly noticeable almond aroma. Kirsch, unlike other types of brandy, is aged not in oak barrels, but in clay jugs or in glass containers. It is used mainly for making cocktails with various liqueurs and champagne.
  • Slivovica is a special brandy that is popular in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and the Balkans. The drink is made from plum juice, and its strength varies from 45 to 75%. For its production, only sweet ripe fruits are used, which were collected from trees that celebrated their twentieth anniversary. Plum is characterized by almond notes thanks to the use of plum seeds. One of the features of this drink is triple distillation.
  • Borovichka is a brandy prepared in Slovakia by re-distilling grain alcohol infused with juniper berries.
  • Williams is a brandy made from the Williams yellow pear. This drink is considered quite young - its production began about forty years ago. Switzerland is his homeland. Today, a drink with a pronounced pear aroma and original taste is also made in the province of Alsace in France.
  • Framboise is a raspberry brandy. It is prepared in Alsace (France) from dried berries, as well as from waste from the juice industry. The drink has a strong raspberry flavor and bright aroma.
  • Palinka is a fruit brandy native to Hungary. It is prepared from different types of fruits: pears, apricots, plums, apples, and is used mainly for the production of desserts and cocktails.
  • Grappa is an Italian brandy made from grape pomace with the addition of fruit syrup. Drink it chilled without mixing with other drinks.
  • Sherri brandy is a drink prepared in the south of Spain from cherry juice.
  • Brandy production technology

     Grapes For the production of classic brandy used grapes "foli blanche" or "uni blanc". At the same time, it is believed that the drink, for which the foil blanche grapes served as the raw material, is more aromatic, therefore this particular variety is used by the world's leading brandy producers.

    The berries used for production must be very fresh, with no signs of decay. Juice is squeezed out of them, which is then placed in a special container, where the process of fermentation of the drink is carried out for several weeks. At this time, carbon dioxide is released, precipitation falls, and as a result, a semi-finished product is obtained, the strength of which does not exceed nine degrees. Further, it is subjected to one-time or double distillation until the strength of the finished product reaches at least 70 degrees. It also changes the color of the drink and its taste [3] [9]

    Exposure period

    According to experts, brandy needs proper aging more than any other alcoholic beverage. Let us recall that it was aging in oak barrels that at one time turned the distillate, which is not very suitable for use in undiluted form, into a noble drink.

    Today, there are three options for the brandy aging process:

  • No endurance. Most often, fruit varieties do not need aging. They are colorless, distinguished by a very bright taste and sharp aroma of the raw materials that were used for their preparation. These drinks are immediately blended and dispensed.
  • Aged in a barrel. In this case, depending on the technological requirements, the process time can be from six months. The drink is usually aged in containers made of wood, for example, oak. Some manufacturers use containers made of neutral material. A barrel-aged brandy is usually golden brown in color.
  • Solera process. This system originated in Spain. Briefly, it can be described as follows: a part of the "young" alcohol is poured into a more seasoned "old" one. The full name of this process sounds like "criadera and solera" and comes from the words "criadera" - incubator or kindergarten and "solera" - the oldest barrel. Alcoholic distillate is placed in oak barrels, which are installed in 3-5 tiers, creating a kind of pyramid. At the same time, the lower tier is "Solera", that is, the "oldest" brandy is located there. The second tier is the "first criadera", the third is the "second criadera" and so on. Distillate is taken from the "Solera" for further packaging in containers, and the selected amount is replenished with liquid from the "first kriadera". In turn, the deficiency in the "first criadera" is compensated for with an even "younger" distillate from the second criadera. And so in a circle. In Spain, they claim that in this way "young" spirits give their strength to the "old" and energy, and the "old" share their wisdom and experience with the young. At the same time, brandy aged according to this system is subdivided into three groups: Solera itself (aged for at least six months), Solera Reserva (aged for at least a year) and Solera Gran Reserva (aged for at least three years).
  • Note that the leading brandy producers have their own aging classifications. The most common of these is the system proposed by the French Hennessy. The beginning of this classification was laid back in 1870, when the manufacturer of cognac Maurice Hennessy created a unique collection of drinks especially for his family and close friends, giving it the name Extra Old (especially aged) or XO. Later, they began to call this cognac, the aging of which was at least six years, and Maurice Hennessy himself developed his own classification system, which has since received worldwide recognition [10]

    It looks like this:

  • AC - drinks up to two years old. These are usually brandy made from fruits and berries.
  • VS (Very Special) is a designation for drinks that have already celebrated their three-year anniversary.
  • VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale) are more noble varieties that have been aged for at least four years.
  • VVSOP Grande Reserve is a brandy that has been aged for over five years.
  • XO (Extra Old) Hors d'âge Napoléon Extra Trés Vieux Vieille Reserve - unique specimens aged over six years [11]
  • What brandy goes with

     Chocolate The brandy has a reputation as a versatile alcoholic beverage that can be combined with meat dishes as well as with chocolate, coffee, cola or tonic. Nevertheless, in order not to spoil the impression of the drink, the choice of snacks should be approached responsibly.

    So, the best pairings for brandy are:

  • Light snacks: cold cuts, sandwiches with red caviar or fish, gourmet cheese, olives.
  • Fruits and nuts: unsalted peanuts, apples, pears, bananas.
  • Sweets: dark chocolate.
  • At the same time, real gourmets are convinced that brandy should not be eaten at all. They adhere to the so-called “three Cs” rule: Cafe, Cognac, Cigare. It consists of the following: first you should drink a cup of strong bitter coffee, then brandy, and then smoke a cigar.

    How to drink brandy properly

    They drink brandy from thick-walled glasses. Most often, cognac glasses are used, which are called "snifters". At the same time, it is believed that it is necessary to fill only their wide part: only in this case will you be able to fully feel the aroma of the drink.

    True gourmets are convinced that you can fully enjoy the taste and aroma of the drink only if you use brandy in a slightly warmed state. Therefore, before taking the first sip, warm the glass a little in the palms of your hands.

    They drink brandy slowly, in small sips. This drink is not suitable for noisy parties. It should be consumed in a small circle of close friends, in a relaxed atmosphere.

    Inexpensive medium-aged brandy can be mixed with coffee, syrups, lemon or orange juice. In the event that the aroma of brandy seems too intense for you, you can add ice to it.

    This serving option has a large number of supporters, although true gourmets consider it barbaric.

    Curious facts

    As noted above, brandy is an ancient drink. Many very interesting historical facts are associated with it, some of which we will tell you about.

    In the 16th century, brandy was used in thermometers instead of mercury.

    In the photographs, St. Bernards participating in search operations to rescue people trapped in snow debris in the mountains are often captured with a container of brandy attached to a collar. It is believed that this drink helps to revive people found under the snow debris [12]

    When the first escalator in Great Britain appeared in one of the London department stores, visitors were wary of the novelty. To persuade them to ride the "scary" device, the department store owners rewarded the daredevils with a glass of brandy.

    One of the most popular drinks in Cambodia is the tarantula brandy. This drink is made from rice liqueur, which is infused on the "carcasses" of killed spiders.

    Cooking brandy cocktails

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    As mentioned above, brandy can be used to make cocktails. For example, the Separator cocktail is a popular drink. To prepare it, you will need 20 ml of brandy, the same amount of cocoa liqueur and 30 ml of cream. Place a few large ice cubes at the bottom of the glass, then add all the ingredients and stir gently.

    Citrus lovers can treat themselves to the Harakiri cocktail. To prepare it, mix in a shaker with ice 45 ml of brandy, the same amount of orange liqueur and 30 ml of fresh orange. Strain the finished drink and pour into a glass.

    Representatives of the beautiful half of humanity will surely like the cocktail called "Happy Youth". To prepare it, put one sugar cube on the bottom of a tall glass, pour in 15 ml of brandy, the same amount of cherry liqueur and 90 ml of champagne. Do not stir.


    Things to know (Q&A)

    What is Brandy today?

    She Started Her Own Label And Went On Tour

    After issues with her past two record labels, Brandy decided to become an independent artist . She started her own label, Slayana Records (a play on her middle name, Rayana), though some of her music is reportedly still tied up at Chameleon Entertainment.

    Who is Brandy married to?

    At the end of 2012, Norwood became engaged to music executive Ryan Press .

    Does Brandy have a kid?

    Smith is Brandy's only child . She welcomed her daughter with record producer Robert Anthony “Big Bert” Smith in 2002. The “Boy Is Mine” singer is known for her slim frame, which Sy'Rai said caused her to “feel like the odd one out” and ask herself at times, “Why am I not that wa

    What is Brandy up to now?

    After issues with her past two record labels, Brandy decided to become an independent artist . She started her own label, Slayana Records (a play on her middle name, Rayana), though some of her music is reportedly still tied up at Chameleon Entertainment.

    Why did Brandy stop being popular?

    One possible reason the show didn't catch on: Brandy felt her personal life lacked the juicy drama you would find on Basketball Wives and Love & Hip-Hop. Brandy told Sister 2 Sister (via Madame Noire) in 2012, "I don't want to do reality shows. .

    Why is Brandy called the vocal Bible?

    Following the release of her 1994 multi-platinum self-titled debut album at just 15 years old, the singer-songwriter was bestowed with the nickname “The Vocal Bible” for her incredible talents

    Is Brandy still rich?

    Brandy Norwood net worth: Brandy Norwood is an American actress, R&B singer, songwriter, and record producer who has a net worth of $12 million .
    ...
    Brandy Norwood Net Worth.

    Net Worth: $12 Million
    Height: 5 ft 6 in (1.7 m)

    Is Brandy still married to Robert Smith?

    In 2002, when Brandy announced she was pregnant, she also said that she had secretly married the baby's father, producer Robert Smith, a year earlier. Now, two years after daughter Sy'rai was born, and a year after the couple announced their split, Smith says they were never really married

    Who is Brandy engaged to?

    “Talk About Our Love” singer Brandy is engaged to pro basketball player Quentin Richardson , People magazine reported. Richardson, 24, surprised the 25-year-old Brandy with an 11 1/2-carat diamond ring valued at $1 million at a reception Tuesday at Los Angeles' Century Club, the magazine said Thursda

    Who is Brandy baby father?

    producer Robert “Big Bert” Smith

    There may be people who say that Brandy's daughter Sy'rai looks more like her father, producer Robert “Big Bert” Smith , than her famous mom, but a new TikTok clip of the 19-year-old is sure to shake up that opinio

    Who is the father of brandy baby?

    There may be people who say that Brandy's daughter Sy'rai looks more like her father, producer Robert “Big Bert” Smith , than her famous mom, but a new TikTok clip of the 19-year-old is sure to shake up that opinion.

    Does Brandy have daughter?

    Welcome our sweetheart, Brilynn Mari Redmond," Brandi wrote on her Instagram, alongside a photo of her baby girl, adding in a second photo, "We are so in love." Brandi and Bryan are already parents to three children ; daughters Brooklyn, 11, and Brinkley, 9, and 2-year-old son Bruin.

    How many babies does brandy have?

    Sy

    Brandy celebrated the 17th birthday of her daughter Sy'rai Iman Smith on Sunday, and she sent a sweet message to her only child. “Happy Birthday to my beautiful 17 years young baby [Sy'rai],” Brandy wrote in an Instagram tribute.

    How old is brandy in real life?

    Brandy is 40 years old as of 2019. She was born on February 11th, 1979.

    What is Brandy 2020 worth?

    The singer and actress has an estimated net worth of $14 million to $15 million , according to multiple sources. She earns her money through a variety of sources such as contributing vocals to soundtracks and acting in multiple project

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