Brandy (from brandywine, derived from Dutch brandewijn, gebrande wijn or "burned wine") is a spirit produced by distilling wine. Brandy generally contains 35 to 60 percent alcohol by volume (70 to 120 U.S. proof) and is typically taken as an after-dinner drink. Some brandies are aged in wooden casks, some are colored with caramel coloring to imitate the effect of aging, and others are produced using a combination of both aging and coloring. The term brandy also denotes liquors obtained from the wines of other fruits. Apples, cherries, plums, pears and peaches have all been distilled into what are called fruit brandies or eaux-de-vie. Pomace brandy, made using grapes with their stems, skins and seeds, is also very common. There are many types of brandy found across the winemaking regions of the world. Among the most renowned are cognac and Armagnac from France or pisco from Peru and Chile. Brandy is generally rated by age, but the ratings vary widely by country. (It’s generally unregulated in the U.S.) The most common ratings are:
3 star or V.S. (very special): a brandy aged for at least two years; 3 star or V.S. brandies are typically what are mixed into cocktails
V.S.O.P. (very superior old pale): a brandy aged for at least four years
X.O. (extra old): a brandy aged six-and-a-half years or more
Hors d’age or vintage: a brandy usually 10 years or older; vintage brandies will have the year of harvest on the bottle, whereas the age of an hors d’age brandy is unknown
Home Bar Basics: Everything You Need to Know About Mixing Glasses
Inside the Most Talked About New Tiki Bar in Years
NYC’s The Polynesian is a next-level new bar.
The Drink That Changed My Life: Lisa Laird Dunn on the Applejack Drink That Started a Revolution
Thanks to a certain bartender called Jim Meehan.
London’s Coupette: My Bar in 3 Drinks
Old-fashioned, unpretentious simplicity enters an unexpected neighborhood.
The Secret to the World’s Best Margarita
Its history is murky. How to make it delicious is not.
Talking Cognac with Hennessy’s Oliver Paultes
Blending is all-important.
Is Rum the Next Bourbon?
Rum is making waves. Slowly but surely.
Eggnog Is Great. But This Holiday Season, Go for a Beautifully Clear Milk Punch.
How to make a lighter, clearer holiday treat.
Experience Cognac Like Never Before at Hennessy’s Le Grand Voyage
Go to Brooklyn for an immersive, sensory trip to the Cognac region of France.
Jim Meehan’s New Bar Is a Beautiful Ode to Frank Lloyd Wright
Chicago is one lucky drinking town.
What Cocktail Won the 2018 Tequila Herradura Legends Competition?
Discover which bartender became the new Tequila Herradura Legend.
Meet the Newest Face of Hong Kong’s Exciting Drink Scene
Bringing southern France to the metropolis.
Why Your Favorite Booze Bottles Are Shaped the Way They Are. And Why You Should Care.
There’s a reason!
Nathan O’Neill Is the 2017 Bartender of the Year
Since August 2016, top bartenders from across the nation have been competing for the title of 2017 Bartender of the Year. Liquor.com and Heaven Hill Brands put out a call for entries for the second year of the competition. Bartenders responded with an overwhelming number of original cocktail recipes featuring Domaine de Canton French Ginger […]
You Ready for the Best Kind of Italian Bar Hospitality?