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1 fl oz (no ice), brandy

  • Calories 64
  • Calories from Fat 0
  • Amount%DV
  • Total Fat 0g0%
  • Saturated Fat 0g0%
  • Monounsaturated Fat 0g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
  • Cholestreol 0mg0%
  • Sodium 0mg0%
  • Potassium 1mg0%
  • Total Carbohydrate 0g0%
  • Dietary Fiber 0g0%
  • Sugars 0g
  • Protein 0g0%
  • Calcium 0mg0%
  • Iron 0mg0%
  • Vitamin A 0%
  • Vitamin C 0%

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Brandy on Wikipedia:

For other uses, see Brandy (disambiguation). Cognac brandy in a typical brandy snifter

Brandy (from brandywine, derived from Dutch brandewijn—``burnt wine``) [1] is a spirit produced by distilling wine, the wine having first been produced by fermenting grapes. Brandy generally contains 36%–60% alcohol by volume and is typically taken as an after-dinner drink. While some brandies are aged in wooden casks, most are coloured with caramel colouring to imitate the effect of such aging.

Brandy can also be made from fermented fruit (i.e., other than grapes) and from pomace.[2]


Types of brandy

There are three main types of brandy. The term ``brandy`` denotes grape brandy if the type is not otherwise specified.

Grape brandy

Grape brandy is produced by the distillation of fermented grapes.

Brandy de Jerez barrels aging American grape brandy is almost always from California.[2] Popular brands include Christian Brothers, Coronet, E&J, Korbel, Paul Masson and J. Bavet. Armagnac is made from grapes of the Armagnac region in Southwest of France (Gers, Landes, Lot-et-Garonne). It is single-continuous distilled in a copper still and aged in oaken casks from Gascony or Limousin. Armagnac was the first distilled spirit in France. Armagnacs have a specificity: they offer vintage qualities. Popular brands are Darroze, Baron de Sigognac, Larressingle, Delord, Laubade, Gélas and Janneau. Cognac comes from the Cognac region in France,[2] and is double distilled using pot stills. Popular brands include Hine, Martell, Rémy Martin, Hennessy, Ragnaud-Sabourin, Delamain and Courvoisier. Brandy de Jerez is a brandy that originates from vineyards around Jerez de la Frontera in southern Spain.[3]It is used in some sherries and is also available as a separate product. It has a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). The traditional production method has three characteristics: (1) Aged in American oaken casks with a capacity of 500 litres, previously having contained sherry. (2) The use of the traditional aging system of Criaderas and Soleras. (3) Aged exclusively within the municipal boundaries of Jerez de la Frontera, El Puerto de Santa María, and Sanlúcar de Barrameda in the province of Cádiz.[4] Pisco is produced in Peru and Chile. Portugal: Lourinhã, located in western Portugal, is one of the few brandy-making areas, besides Cognac, Armagnac and Jerez, that have received appellation status. South African grape brandies are, by law, made almost exactly as in Cognac, using a double-distillation process in copper pot stills followed by aging in oak barrels for a minimum of three years. Because of this, South African brandies are of a very high quality.[5] Other countries: Grape brandy is also produced in many other countries, including Armenia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Romania, and Ukraine. Cyprus brandy differs from other varieties in that its alcohol concentration is only 32% ABV.

The European Union legally enforces Cognac as the exclusive name for brandy produced and distilled in the Cognac area of France, and Armagnac from the Gascony area of France, using traditional techniques. Since these are considered PDO, they refer not just to styles of brandy but brandies from a specific region, i.e. a brandy made in California in a manner identical to the method used to make cognac, and which tastes similar to cognac, cannot be so called in Europe as it is not from the Cognac region of France.

Grape brandy is best when it is drunk at room temperature from a tulip-shaped glass or a snifter. Often it is slightly warmed by holding the glass cupped in the palm or by gently heating it. However, heating it may cause the alcohol vapor to become too strong, so that the aromas are overpowered.[citation needed]

Brandy, like whisky and red wine, has more pleasant aromas and flavors at a lower temperature, e.g., 16 Â°C (61 Â°F). In most homes, this would imply that brandy should be cooled rather than heated for maximum enjoyment. Furthermore, alcohol (which makes up 40% of a typical brandy) becomes thin as it is heated (and more viscous when cooled). Thus, cool brandy produces a fuller and smoother mouthfeel and less of a ``burning`` sensation.[6]

Fruit brandy

A bottle of Calvados, a French fruit brandy made from apples

Fruit brandies are distilled from fruits other than grapes. Apples, plums, peaches, cherries, eldberberries, raspberries, blackberries, and apricots are the most commonly used fruits. Fruit brandy usually contains 40% to 45% ABV. It is usually colorless and is customarily drunk chilled or over ice.

Applejack is an American apple brandy, made from the distillation of hard cider. It is often freeze distilled. Buchu brandy is South African and flavoured with extracts from Agathosma species. Calvados is an apple brandy from the French region of Lower Normandy.[2] It is double distilled from fermented apples. Damassine is a prune (the fruit of the Damassinier tree) brandy from the Jura Mountains of Switzerland Coconut brandy is a brandy made from the sap of coconut flowers. Eau-de-vie is a general French term for fruit brandy (or even grape brandy that is not qualified as Armagnac or Cognac, including pomace brandy). German Schnaps is fruit brandy produced in Germany or Austria. Kirschwasser is a fruit brandy made from cherries.[2] Kukumakranka brandy is South African and flavoured with the ripe fruit of the Kukumakranka. Palinka is a traditional Hungarian fruit brandy.[2] It can only be made of fruits from Hungary, such as plums, apricots, peaches, elderberries, pears, apples or cherries. Poire Williams (Williamine) is made from Bartlett pears (also known as Williams pears). Rakia is a type of fruit brandy produced in Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia; it may be made from plums, apples, quinces, pears, apricots, cherries, mulberries, grapes, or walnuts. Slivovice is a strong fruit brandy made from plums; by law, it must contain at least 52% ABV. It is produced in Serbia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Poland. Slivovitz is a fruit brandy made from plums.[2] It is a traditional drink in Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia. Macedonia, Serbia, and Slovenia. Å livka (pronounced: Shlyeewca) is plum fruit brandy made in Macedonia. Å ljivovica (pronounced: Shlyeewoweetza) is plum fruit brandy made in Serbia. Tuica is a clear Romanian fruit brandy made from plums, apples, pears, apricots, mulberries, peaches, quinces, or mixtures of these. Romania and Moldova also produce a grape brandy called vin ars (burnt wine) or divin.

Pomace brandy

Pomace brandy is produced by fermentation and distillation of the grape skins, seeds, and stems that remain after grapes have been pressed to extract their juice (which is then used to make wine). Examples include

Italian grappa, French marc, Portuguese aguardente Bagaceira, Serbian komovica, Bulgarian grozdova, Georgian chacha, Hungarian törkölypálinka, Cretan tsikoudia Cypriot Zivania [2] and Spanish orujo, Macedonian komova.

Most of the pomace brandies are neither aged, nor coloured.


A batch distillation typically works as follows:

Wine with an alcohol concentration of 8% to 12% ABV and high acidity is boiled in a pot still. Vapors of alcohol, water, and numerous aromatic components rise and are collected in a condenser coil, where they become a liquid again. Because alcohol and the aromatic components vaporize at a lower temperature than water, the concentration of alcohol in the condensed liquid (the distillate) is higher than in the original wine.

After one distillation, the distillate, called ``low wine,`` will contain roughly 30% alcohol (ethanol) by volume. The low wine is then distilled a second time. The first 1% or so of distillate that's produced, called the ``head,`` has an alcohol concentration of about 83% and an unpleasant odor, so it is discarded (generally, mixed in with another batch of low wine for future use). The distillation process continues, yielding a distillate of approximately 70% alcohol (called the ``heart``), which is what will be consumed as brandy. The portion of low wine that remains after distillation, called the ``tail,`` will be mixed into another batch of low wine for future use.

Distillation does not simply enhance the alcohol content of wine. The heat under which the product is distilled and the material of the still (usually copper) cause chemical reactions to take place during distillation. This leads to the formation of numerous new volatile aroma components, changes in relative amounts of aroma components in the wine, and the hydrolysis of components such as esters.


Brandy is produced using one of three aging methods:

No aging: Most pomace brandy and some fruit brandy is not aged before bottling. The resulting product is typically clear and colourless. Single barrel aging: Brandies with a natural golden or brown color are aged in oak casks. Some brandies have caramel color added to simulate the appearance of barrel aging. Solera process: Some brandies, particularly those from Spain, are aged using the solera system.


Brandy has a rating system to describe its quality and condition; these indicators can usually be found near the brand name on the label:

A.C.: aged two years in wood. V.S.: ``Very Special`` or 3-Star, aged at least three years in wood. V.S.O.P.: ``Very Superior Old Pale`` or 5-Star, aged at least five years in wood. X.O.: ``Extra Old``, Napoleon or Vieille Reserve, aged at least six years, Napoleon at least four years. Vintage: Stored in the cask until the time it is bottled with the label showing the vintage date. Hors d'age: These are too old to determine the age, although ten years plus is typical, and are usually of great quality.

In the case of Brandy de Jerez Regulatory Council classifies it according to:

Brandy de Jerez Solera – one year old. Brandy de Jerez Solera Reserva – three years old. Brandy de Jerez Solera Gran Reserva – ten years old.

Pot stills vs. tower stills

Cognac and South African pot still brandy are examples of brandy produced in batches using pot stills (batch distillation). Many American brandies use fractional distillation in tower stills to perform their distillation. Special pot stills with a fractionation section on top are used for Armagnac.

European Union definition

The European Union has established its own legal definition of the term “brandy”:[7]

5. Brandy or Weinbrand

(a) Brandy or Weinbrand is a spirit drink: (i) produced from wine spirit, whether or not wine distillate has been added, distilled at less than 94.8% vol., provided that that distillate does not exceed a maximum of 50% of the alcoholic content of the finished product, (ii) matured for at least one year in oak receptacles or for at least six months in oak casks with a capacity of less than 1000 litres, (iii) containing a quantity of volatile substances equal to or exceeding 125 grams per hectolitre of 100% vol. alcohol, and derived exclusively from the distillation or redistillation of the raw materials used, (iv) having a maximum methanol content of 200 grams per hectolitre of 100% vol. alcohol. (b) The minimum alcoholic strength by volume of brandy or Weinbrand shall be 36%. (c) No addition of alcohol as defined in Annex I(5), diluted or not, shall take place. (d) Brandy or Weinbrand shall not be flavoured. This shall not exclude traditional production methods. (e) Brandy or Weinbrand may only contain added caramel as a means to adapt colour.

This definition formally excludes fruit brandy, pomace brandy, and even unaged grape brandy. The same European Union regulation defines the names of these excluded spirits as fruit spirit, grape marc spirit, and wine spirit. The German term Weinbrand is equivalent to the English term “brandy”, but outside the German-speaking countries it is used only for brandy from Austria and Germany. In Poland, brandy is sometimes called winiak, from wino (wine).


The origins of brandy are clearly tied to the development of distillation. Concentrated alcoholic beverages were known in ancient Greece and Rome and may have a history going back to ancient Babylon. Brandy, as it is known today, first began to appear in the 12th century and became generally popular in the 14th century.

Initially wine was distilled as a preservation method and as a way to make the wine easier for merchants to transport. It was also thought that wine was originally distilled to lessen the tax which was assessed by volume. The intent was to add the water removed by distillation back to the brandy shortly before consumption. It was discovered that after having been stored in wooden casks, the resulting product had improved over the original distilled spirit.[2] In addition to removing water, the distillation process leads to the formation and decomposition of numerous aroma compounds, fundamentally altering the composition of the distillate from its source. Non-volatile substances such as pigments, sugars, and salts remain behind in the still. As a result, the taste of the distillate may be quite unlike that of the original source.

As described in the 1728 edition of Cyclopaedia, the following method was used to distill brandy:

A cucurbit was filled half full of the liquor from which brandy was to be drawn and then raised with a little fire until about one sixth part was distilled, or until that which falls into the receiver was entirely flammable. This liquor, distilled only once, was called spirit of wine or brandy. Purified by another distillation (or several more), this was then called spirit of wine rectified. The second distillation was made in balneo mariae and in a glass cucurbit, and the liquor was distilled to about one half the quantity. This was further rectified—as long as the operator thought necessary—to produce brandy.[8]

To shorten these several distillations, which were long and troublesome, a chemical instrument was invented that reduced them to a single distillation. To test the purity of the rectified spirit of wine, a portion was ignited. If the entire contents were consumed without leaving any impurity behind, then the liquor was good. Another, better test involved putting a little gunpowder in the bottom of the spirit. If the gunpowder took fire when the spirit was consumed, then the liquor was good.[8]

As most brandies are distilled from grapes, the regions of the world producing excellent brandies have roughly paralleled those areas producing grapes for viniculture. At the end of the 19th Century, the western European market—and by extension their overseas empires—was dominated by French and Spanish brandies, and eastern Europe was dominated by brandies from the Black Sea region, including Bulgaria, the Crimea, and Georgia. In 1880, David Saradjishvili founded his Cognac Factory in Tbilisi, Georgia (then part of the Russian Empire) which was a crossroads for Turkish, Central Asian, and Persian traderoutes. Armenian and Georgian brandies (always called cognacs in the era) were considered some of the best in the world, often beating their French competitors at the International Expositions in Paris and Brussels in the early 1900s. The storehouses of the Romanov Court in St. Petersburg were regarded as the largest collections of cognacs and wines in the world—much of it from the Transcaucasus region of Georgia. During the October Revolution of 1917, upon the storming of the Winter Palace, the Bolshevik Revolution actually paused for a week or so as the rioters engorged on the substantial stores of cognac and wines. The Russian market was always a huge brandy-consuming region, and while much of it was homegrown, much was imported. The patterns of bottles follow that of western European norm. Throughout the Soviet era, the production of brandy remained a source of pride for the communist regime, and they continued to produce some excellent varieties—most famously the Jubilee Brandies of 1967, 1977, and 1987. Remaining bottles of these productions are highly sought after, not simply for their quality, but for their historical significance.


Brandy serves a variety of culinary uses.


Flavored brandy is added to desserts, including cake and pie toppings, which enhances the flavor of the dessert . Flavored brandy is also commonly added to apple dishes. Brandy is a common deglazing liquid in making pan sauces for steak or other meats


Brandy may be served neat (by itself) or on the rocks (with ice). It is often added to other beverages to create several popular mixed drinks. Examples of mixed drinks with brandy include a ``Brandy Alexander``, a ``Brandy Sour``, ``Old fashioned``, and a ``Blackbird`` (blackberry brandy mixed with Coca-Cola).

See also

Batch distillation Cut brandy Fine Fortified wine Himbeergeist Singani


Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Brandy ^ Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. 1989.  ^ a b c d e f g h i Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.. 2007.  ^ Lichine, Alexis. Alexis Lichine’s New Encyclopedia of Wines & Spirits, 5th edition, (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1987). Page 464. ^ Bulk Brandy Producer, Rudolf Prehn GmbH ^ South Africa wins Best Brandy in the World ^ The History of Brandy ^ Official Journal of the European Union, 13 February 2008, 39/30–39/31. ^ a b This article incorporates content from the 1728 Cyclopaedia, a publication in the public domain. v â€¢ d â€¢ e Alcoholic beverages   History and production History of alcohol History of alcohol Â· History of beer Â· History of Champagne Â· History of wine Â· History of French wine Â· History of Rioja wine Production Brewing Â· Distilling Â· Winemaking   Alcoholic beverages Fermented beverage Beer (types) Â· Wine (types) Â· Cider (category) Â· Mead (category) Â· Rice wine (category) Â· Other fermented beverages Distilled beverage Brandy (category) Â· Gin (category) Â· Liqueur (category) Â· Rum (category) Â· Tequila (category) Â· Vodka (category) Â· Whisky (category) Fortified wine (category) Madeira wine (category) Â· Marsala wine Â· Port wine Â· Sherry (category) Â· Vermouth (category)   Distilled beverages by ingredients Grain Barley: Irish whiskey Â· Japanese whisky Â· Scotch whisky Â· Maize: Bourbon whiskey Â· Corn whiskey Â· Tennessee whiskey Â· Rice: Awamori Â· Rice baijiu Â· Soju Â· Rye: Rye whiskey Â· Sorghum: Baijiu (Kaoliang) Fruit Apple: Applejack Â· Calvados Â· Cashew Apple: Fenny† Â· Coconut: Arrack† Â· Grape: Armagnac Â· Brandy Â· Cognac Â· Pisco Â· Plum: Slivovitz Â· Å¢uicㆠ· Pomace: Grappa Â· Marc Â· Orujo Â· Tsikoudia Â· Tsipouro Â· Zivania Â· Chacha† Â· Various/other fruit: Eau de vie Â· Kirschwasser Â· Palinka Â· Rakia Â· Schnaps Other Agave: Mezcal Â· Tequila Â· Sugarcane/molasses: Aguardiente Â· Cachaça Â· Clairin Â· Guaro Â· Rum Â· Seco Herrerano Â· Tharra Â· Various cereals and potato: Akvavit Â· Baijiu Â· Canadian whisky Â· Poitin Â· ShōchÅ« Â· Vodka Â· Whisky   Liqueurs and infused distilled beverages by ingredients Almond: Amaretto Â· Crème de Noyaux Â· Anise: Absinthe Â· Arak Â· Ouzo Â· Raki Â· Pastis Â· Sambuca Â· Chocolate Â· Cinnamon: Tentura Â· Coconut: Malibu Â· Coffee: Kahlua Â· Tia Maria Â· Egg: Advocaat Â· Hazelnut: Frangelico Â· Herbs: Aquavit Â· Bénédictine Â· Brennivín Â· Crème de menthe Â· Metaxa Â· Honey: Bärenjäger Â· Drambuie Â· Krupnik Â· Juniper: Gin Â· Jenever Â· Orange: Campari Â· Curaçao Â· Triple sec Â· Star anise: Sassolino Â· Sugarcane/molasses: Charanda Â· Various/other fruit: Crème de banane Â· Crème de cassis Â· Limoncello Â· Schnapps Â· Sloe gin Alcoholic beverages category Â· Drink Portal Â· Beer Portal Â· Beer WikiProject Â· Wine Portal Â· Wine WikiProject Â· Spirits WikiProject