Distilled from wine or fermented fruit mash, Brandy refers to grape product in general. Moreover, brandies are usually aged with exception of certain fruit types. Aging Brandy in wooden containers typically deepens color to amber, while using earthenware or paraffin-lined casks helps maintain original clear color. Brandy which is used for fortifying Sherry, Madeira and other dessert wines contain about 80 to 95 percent alcohol, while beverage Brandy is usually 50 percent alcohol by volume. However, like other types of distilled liquor, Brandy does not improve following bottling.
Most Wine Producing Countries Also Make Brandy
Cognac is one of the most outstanding French Brandy from Charente & Charente-Maritime departments and considered as one of the finest. Armagnac is another fine French Brandy which comes from the Gers region of the country. While port wine producing centers of Portugal are also known for producing Brandy, Sherry producing centers of Spain are also well known for producing Brandy. Greek Brandy, Italian Brandy, American Brandy and Peru Brandy are also globally recognized.
Other Types of Fruit Brandies
Produced from fermented cider, Apple brandies include calvados from Calvados region of France and American applejack. Framboise coming from Alsatian area of France is distilled from raspberries and Fraise from the same area is distilled from strawberries. Slivovitz is a golden-brown plum Brandy produced in several Balkan countries which is characterized by bitter-almond flavor due to release of oil from fruit pits during mashing. Other popular brandies include Barack Palinka from Hungary which is an apricot Brandy, Kirschwasser from Germany & Switzerland distilled from cherries and French plum brandies made from yellow plum & blue plum.
Brandy is usually served either alone or with soda. Usually an after-dinner drink, Brandy is also largely used to flavor various dessert dishes & flavored mixed drinks and as fuel for flaming dishes like cherries jubilee & crepes suzette. Moreover, Brandy is also often utilized as base spirit in production of distilled liquor known as liqueur.