The Future of American Brandy is Happening and You Need to Know About It

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Whiskey has experienced a tremendous renaissance in recent years, but there’s another antediluvian spirit ripe for a comeback—brandy.

“The founding fathers were drinking brandy and other distilled wines long before they were drinking anything like whiskey,” says Dan Farber of Osocalis Brandy in Soquel, California. “In a cocktail, brandies are truly the great mixer. It’s such a team player, and it’s never going to rear its head above the rest of the team. That’s because in brandy manufacturing, we really try to make it round and complex.”

From coast-to-coast, the revival of American brandy has swelled in recent years, with each new distillery working to carve out a niche inside the growing market—making brandy with seasonal fruits, aging it in bourbon barrels—looking to make a distinctive product that references the spirit’s history while bringing it into the future. Along with inventive production methods that blend new and old, the next generation of American brandy has embraced an edgier, devil-may-care attitude.

“The American style of brandy reflects a feistier character that’s more reminiscent of American whiskey than the more even-keeled international style of brandy,” says Joe Heron of Copper & Kings American Brandy Company in Louisville, Kentucky. “It will be recognized for its quality, depth, variety and rock ‘n’ roll.”

He may be right. Find out for yourself by swapping your usual whiskey for one of these three brandy-based, after-dinner sippers—no snifter required.

Copper & Kings Brandy Old Fashioned

Copper & Kings Brandy Old Fashioned

Contributed by Joe Heron, Copper & Kings, Louisville, KY

Glass: Rocks

In a chilled rocks glass, muddle the sugar, bitters, orange wedge and cherry into a thick paste, being careful not to work the orange peel. Add brandy, stir and fill the glass with ice.

Osocalis Brandy’s Surf and Sand

Surf and Sand

Contributed by Dan Farber, Osocalis Brandy, Soquel, CA

  • 1.5 oz Osocalis Rare Alambic Brandy
  • .5 oz Sweet vermouth
  • .5 oz Cherry Heering
  • 2 oz Fresh orange juice
  • 3 dashes Cherry bitters
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters

Glass: Coupe

Add all ingredients to a shaker filled with ice. Shake, and strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass.

Stone Barn Brandyworks’ Pear Brandy Sidecar

Pear Brandy Sidecar

Contributed by Sebastian Degens of Stone Barn Brandyworks, Portland, OR

Glass: Cocktail

Add all ingredients to a shaker filled with ice. Shake well, and strain into a cocktail glass.

 

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