“Claret is the liquor for boys, port is for men, but he who aspires to be a hero must drink brandy”
– Samuel Johnson, English author in the 1700s
The word brandy comes from the Dutch brandewijn or “burnt wine.”
Cognac is the best known brandy in the world. It comes from the West central coast of France and is produced from grapes.
South African brandy is made in almost exactly the same way as Cognac; resulting in a very high quality spirit.
South Africa’s KWV 12 Year Barrel Select brandy won Worldwide Best Brandy in 2014. It’s the 7th time they’ve won the award.
Brandy is made from fruit juice or fruit pulp and skin.
In the 12 century, brandy was only made by doctors for medicine.
How to drink it:
Neat: If the brandy is aged or expensive, drink it neat (no ice) from a brandy snifter. Warm in your hands. Take in the aroma. Enjoy in small sips. Drink immediately, it doesn’t need to breathe like wine.
Cracking the code: Check a brandy’s age by these label codes: AC – aged in wood for 2 years.
VS (Very Special) – aged minimum 3 years in wood.
VSOP (Very Special Old Pale) – aged mini- mum 5 years in wood.
XO (Extra Old) – aged 6 years or more.
Metropolitan Cocktail: A classic cocktail created in 1935. 45ml brandy, 30ml sweet vermouth, 1/2 teaspoon simple syrup, 2 dashes Angostura bitters
Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well. Strain into a martini glass.
Braai: It’s not a braai without the SA classic brandy and Coke.