We all remember that small bottle with a dark brown colour liquid inside it. It usually came out when we suffered from cold, cough or it was really chilling outside and just a sip of that magic potion helped us to get cosy in our bed. What was that magical drink which was hidden but came as a saviour. It is Brandy an alcoholic beverage obtained after the distillation of wine. This drink carries its own story. It was initiated being started just as a concentrate of wine. and then to be found in legends that say Augustine monks had barrels of brandy hung around the necks of St. Bernard rescue dogs which went to rescue pilgrims who were frostbitten in the Swiss Alps. A glass of Brandy is often termed as a “Glass of Fire”. Let’s see How this glass is actually made aka How Is Brandy Made.
History of Brandy
Mediterranean traders were the first who brought primitive stills to Europe by the Third Century. But this drink took birth during the sixteenth century when, Dutch wine merchants identified that by concentrating the wine more of it could be shipped across the sea in the same available space. At that time the Dutch named this as “burnt wine,” brandewijn. But the main idea was to add water back to the brandewijn once it reached its destination. When this brandewijn was opened after its long journey. The ageing had altered its colour, aroma, and taste. Soon, it was accepted by the people and they started liking it’s taste, after this burnt wine had become brandy forever.
Brandy Alcohol Content
Brandy has been exploding in the American market it might not have been getting the popular-press attention and cultural buzz like other spirits but the numbers have shown the growth of brandy. There has been an increasing trend amongst of revving the classical & ethnic taste and brandy is the unavoidable drink. With brandy becoming the key ingredient in this cocktail canon. Brandy has around 38-47% ABV and fruit brandy has around 39-43% ABV. Usually the brandy is distilled twice mostly fine brandies, meaning they concentrate the alcohol twice. There is a ratio of 9:1 which is followed that is nine parts wines when distilled forms one-part brandy. After eight hours of distillation which marks the end of first distillation has an alcohol content of 27-31%. The end of second distillation has 71.5% alcohol content.
Brandy Consumption in India
There has been a growing consumption of alcohol among the Indian’s the alcohol market is growing at a CAGR of 8.8%. With Brandy becoming the fourth most popular drink in the world with an average consumption of 21 million litres and in India Brandy is the fifth most consumed drink according to a July International Wine and Spirits Research (IWSR) report. India is one of the largest consumer of alcohol due to its huge population but the per capita consumption of each Indian stays around 21.06 ml daily for the year 2016.
What is Brandy Liquor? How Is Brandy Made
Liqueurs have been with us since ages, it has been around six hundred years when it was made for the first time in Italy and other countries in Europe (often by monks) mostly to combat issues related to digestive problems and other ailments. Brandy liquor or liqueur is a type of spirit which is sweetened and flavoured with spices, herbs, roots, dairy products, plants, flowers, fruits, honey, or beans. It can be obtained from any fruit-based mash by distilling it and extracting alcohol from it. Some of the world’s good brandies are made from grapes and, in itself, the word “brandy” has been derived from the Middle Dutch “Brantwijn” which means “Burned [i.e.: distilled] Wine.” Majorly there are two types of wine- brandy which one can find: regular and second: pomace. Out of them the pomace-based brandy is distilled with the skins and peels of the grapes, and not just the juice. Because of which a special, earthier flavour different from other liquors is retained by the finished product. Italian grappa and South American pisco are some of the examples. The regular brandies from fruits like apples, pears, cherries etc. are often called eaux-de-vie, which means waters of life in French.
After distillation of brandy they are aged in oak barrels ranging from six months to two years and some very fine brandies can even be aged for fifty years. More will be the alcohol content the more neutral and tasteless the brandy will be. With lower alcohol content, the underlying flavours will remain in the, but always there is a high risk that off flavours might make their way into the final product. Most of the brandy which is consumed today, is fine brandy, which is less than six years old. However, some fine brandies are more than 50 years old. As the aging process continues the brandy absorbs flavours from the oak while its own structure becomes less astringent and softness increases. This gives the brandy its amber colour and notes of spice, caramel, and dried fruit. The aging process also increases the price of brandy. Till the time brandy is in the oak there is a loss of alcohol at a rate of 1% per year for the first fifty years. Brandies are often enjoyed after a meal as an aperitif because the bitter ingredients like bitter barks, roots, seeds and plants, which aid digestion.
Brandy Ingredients | How Is Brandy Made
The ingredients used for brandy production are mostly liquids which may contain any form of sugar. However, anything that can be fermented and distilled is turned into a brandy which include grapes, apples, blackberries, sugar cane, honey, milk, rice, wheat, corn, potatoes, and rye these all are commonly fermented and distilled. Also, in history when there was shortage of wine during the world war II people in London fermented cabbage leaves and made brandy out of it.
Kinds of Brandy
Since brandy is a product from wine so mostly wine-producing countries also make brandy. Cognac is an outstanding French brandy, from the Charente and Charente-Maritime départements of France, it is considered the finest of all brandies. Armagnac, from the Gers region and some of the parts of Spain and the port-producing centres of Portugal which produce sherry are also known for their brandy. Metaxa is a sweet brandy which is darkened with caramel, and ouzo, colourless and flavoured with anise or licorice which has its root from Greece. California produces the majority amount of brandy for America, it tends to be neutral and uniform in character. Pisco, which is distilled from muscat wines is produced in Peru. Brandies Burgundy and Grappa, are an unaged, sharp-tasting brandy produced in both Italy and California they are distilled from grape pomace, or marc, the material remaining in the winepress after grape pressing.
Sugar Content in Brandy
The process of wine-making that is fermentation turns the sugar present in grapes into ethanol and carbon dioxide and most of the sugar is used up during this process. This leaves wine with a very little sugar content. The red table wine is estimated to have less than 1 gram of sugar per serving, while the white table wines have a slightly higher amount of sugars that is 1.5 grams per serving. They both have a carbohydrate content of 4 grams per serving. Since there are numerous varieties of wine, the sugar content may vary from variety to variety and at what stage the fermentation is stopped. For example, dessert wines, have as many as 8 grams of sugar per serving since sugars are added to these wines to impart a sweet flavour. So, as brandy is made by distilling wine, if there is no sugar in wine then there is no sugar in brandy. Usually, brandies do not have any sugar like other hard alcohols which include vodka, gin, rum, tequila and whiskey. Brandy has a total calorie count of 72.
- Hine Vintage Cognac
- Calvados Bushnell
- Jacques Cardin
- Ansac Cognac
- The Christian Brother Brandy
- Hennessey Cognac
How Is Brandy Made | Brandy Production Process
Once the distillation is over the master distillers select different brandies form different barrels and a blend is created. They meticously make the blend till the time the desired brandy is not achieved. The brandy which is aged for the least period of time and added into the blend is regarded as the age of the brandy. Hence the year which you find on your brandy is the age of least aged brandy in the blend.
Ageing or Maturation
After distillation it is a clear liquid. The most important part happens in ageing where the brandy gets its aroma, flavour, colour and taste. Minimum of three years of ageing is required to make a brandy which means that without three years of aging you cannot call your distilled wine as brandy. The maturation time will decide the smoothness and texture of the spirit
processes run on the principal that alcohol evaporates at a lower temperature than water when heated, which allows its extraction from the base wine to turn into brandy. During the distillation there are three places where the distilled product is collected in the distillation tank. The uppermost product is too much distilled and is somewhat like vodka, whereas the bottom product has too much thingy flavours. The optimum flavours are obtained from the middle part of the distilled tank.
Base wine from which brandy is distilled is made primarily
After ageing in the oak barrels. And obtaining the correct blend by the master distiller who ensures that the same taste and flavours are maintained, your brandy is ready to be bottled. The brandy is bottled by filling up to the neck and then creating a vacuum. The bottles after sealing are labelled and batch number are printed on it.
How Is Brandy Made Video