Two brandy glasses

Good brandy is a mixture of sunshine and fruit and berry juice

The question of what is brandy cannot be answered unequivocally. It encompasses a wide range of alcoholic beverages made from fruits and berries and with a strength above 35%.


How did French wine become Dutch brandy?

The name brandy comes from "brandewijn," literally meaning "fire wine. The drink's origins date back to around the 15th and 16th centuries. At that time sailors, merchants and traders from Holland were importing salt from the Charente basin (south-western France). On their way home, they always bought a great deal of the delicious and varied wines produced by the French. The expensive product often spoiled during long transport, so they began to distill (distill) it. Later the Dutch called the drink a distilled (distilled) wine, hence the term real brandy as it exists today.

The production of the drink has no clear-cut standards and rules. Countries determine the technological characteristics of distillation and composition of the alcohol at their own discretion. The only exceptions are the three most prominent brands armagnac (armagnac), cognac (cognac) and calvados (calvados). They not only have a strict formulation, but also a legally patented production technology.

Wines made from fermented pear, peach, grape, plum, apple or other fermented fruit juices are subjected to distillation. The fermentation produces alcohol with pronounced notes of the source material. The good stuff made in this way is aged in special oak barrels, which gives it an unusual, unique and deep aroma. The result is a brandy endowed with a special aroma and a rich aftertaste.


A fairy tale of flavors in a strong drink.

Since brandy has no distinctive distinction, its division is rather tentative and divides the whole variety of the beverage into three types: grape, fruit and liquor made from squeezed fruits.

Eau-de-vie de vin - grape alcohol is obtained by distillation (distillation) of fermented grape juice with its further aging in oak barrels. This type is produced in Europe, South Africa, America and other countries where grapes are cultivated. The brightest representatives of this category are: cognac and armagnac (France), sherry (Spain), methacs (Greece). Such an expensive drink is a real decoration of the table.

Eats-de-vie de marc (from squeezed grapes) are produced only from whole grape berries, including peel, pulp and pips. Examples of this group are grappa (Italy), chacha (Georgia), rakija (South Slovakia).

Eats-de-vie de fruits (fruit varieties) are the most diverse because they can be based on absolutely any berries and fruits. The most common brands are Calvados (apple-based), Kirschwasser (from cherries), Kiliams (pear-based), Framboise (raspberry-based), Borovicka (from juniper berries).

In addition, this sunny drink is divided into three groups according to strength. Strong brandy contains about 80-90% alcohol. It is risky to drink it in its pure form, but it is an excellent base for all kinds of cocktails and wine fortification. Grappa has a strength of 70-80% and is recommended to be drunk diluted (with water or juices). Ordinary brandy contains 57-75% alcohol. This is the most common type, which can be found in any wine department of the supermarket. It is drunk in its pure form, as well as in the form of cocktails and added to culinary products.


Which brandy is worth trying?

In the budget drink category, pay attention to Metaxa. It has a mild flavor of dried fruit and nutmeg, a rich aroma and a pleasant dark golden (sunny) color. The strength of the drink is 38%. The aftertaste is complex, combining notes of vanilla and oak, with a sweet flavor of warm Greek charm. Metaxa is drunk pure from small liquor glasses, enjoying each sip. It can be mixed with various juices, tonics, added to tea and coffee. This alcohol pairs well with fruit, chocolate, salads, cheeses, or baked meats.

More expensive is Calvados, an apple fortified nectar. It is advisable to buy the elite variety in alcoholic boutiques, as supermarkets offer brands of dubious quality. This is a true woman's drink, which has a sweet, lingering taste and strength of 17%. The aftertaste is rich, spicy-apple and unforgettable. It is good in its pure form as well as in cocktails. This brandy is often added to a variety of desserts, cakes, ice cream and puddings.

In general, the choice depends only on personal preferences. Thanks to the wide variety, even the most experienced gourmand can find a worthy variety, expensive or cheaper.


How to experience the whole palette of flavors of brandy

In today's world, filled with so many products, it is very difficult not to get confused and choose a quality product. The niche of alcoholic beverages is not an exception, but rather a confirmation of this. Store shelves are literally crammed with different alcohol.

The quality of brandy production predetermines its future taste. The acquaintance with the drink begins with the label and is revealed during the first tasting. When the glass is filled with alcohol you should taste faint notes of vanilla and sweet fruits, warmed by the gentle sunshine. Immediately at the first sip, floral and fruity aromas can be felt. A good drink has flavors of apricot, violets, roses and lime. The aftertaste should be full of complex port aromas, enriched with a hint of sweet temptation. The age of the 'fiery wine' is also important. When you rotate the glass around its axis you should see the way you see the drops trickling down the walls. A matured "brandewijn" will go down slowly, leaving barely visible traces on the glass.

It is worth sampling this wonderful drink slowly, warming the glass in your hands and enjoying every drop and note of the bouquet. Brandy can be compared to the play of a magnificent orchestra, in which all the instruments are in their place, creating incredible masterpieces of taste sensations.

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