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The word Brandy comes from
the Dutch word brandewijn, ("burnt wine"), which is how the
straightforward Dutch traders who introduced it to Northern Europe
from Southern France and Spain in the 16th century described wine
that had been "burnt," or boiled, in order to distill it.
Brandy, like Rum and
Tequila, is an agricultural spirit.
Unlike grain spirits such
as Whisky, Vodka, and Gin, which are made throughout the year from
grain that can be harvested and stored, Brandy is dependent on the
seasons, the ripening of the base fruit, and the production of the
wine from which it is made.
Cognac is the best known
type of Brandy in the world, a benchmark by which most other
Brandies are judged
Consuming 30 milliliters of
brandy per day reportedly has a similar antioxidant
potential which a regular dose of vitamin C has,
according to researchers belonging to the Monash University. This
does not mean that consuming Vitamin C
should be given up, but it can continue along with drinking brandy.
Australian distillers produce matured brandy in concentrated form
which is sold in bulk for later dilution and bottling or is used
in-house for their own bottled brands. Like imported brandy,
Australian brandy must be matured in wood for at least two years.
Professor Nicholas Moore, from the University of
Bordeaux, is responsible for some of these incredible findings. He
was amazed at the low levels of heart disease in this particular
area and wanted to take a closer look at possible causes. The people
in this area tend to live a life with less stress, drink more wine,
and also eat a healthier diet.
- The first
step in making fine brandies is to allow the fruit juice (typically
grape) to ferment. This usually means placing the juice, or must as
it is known in the distilling trade, in a large vat at 68-77°F
(20-25°C) and leaving it for five days.
brandies are always made in small batches using pot stills. A pot
still is simply a large pot, usually made out of copper, with a
- The pot
still is heated to the point where the fermented liquid reaches the
boiling point of alcohol. The alcohol vapors, which contain a large
amount of water vapor, rise in the still into the bulbous top.
- The vapors
are funneled from the pot still through a bent pipe to a condenser
where the vapors are chilled, condensing the vapors back to a liquid
with a much higher alcohol content.
- The brandy
is not yet ready to drink after the second distillation.
brandy can be ready for bottling after two years, some after six
years, and some not for decades.
brandies are usually blended from many different barrels over a
number of vintages.
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