Contrary to popular opinion, you do not need a library full of leather bound books to enjoy brandy. Turns out all you need is a bottle of the stuff and a glass. But the smooth taste will make you feel fancy, wherever you happen to be sitting. Brandy is produced by distilling wine, which leads to an ABV typically between 35-60%. Brandy denotes a spirit made from any distilled wine, so fruit brandies are created from wines made of apples, cherries, plums, pears and more.
Check the Rating:
Brandy alcohol is generally rated by age, though they can range wildly by country. But this should help you out in most cases:
How to Drink It:
- VS (Very Special): aged at least three years. This is the type of brandy typically used for mixing cocktails.
- VSOP (Very Special Old Pale): aged at least four years.
- XO (Extra Old): aged six and a half years or more.
- Hors d'age or Vintage: aged ten years or more. Vintage brandies will show the year of harvest on the bottle while the age of hors d'age is unknown.
Older brandies are best enjoyed neat. Younger brandies are at home in a wide variety of cocktails, including the Hot Toddy, Sidecar, Pisco Sour and more.