Brandy, you’re a fine girl…

26 Feb

Cognac photo by a href=At this month’s meeting, we are paying a little more attention to the fascinating liquor that is brandy.

Brandy looks and acts like a grain alcohol, but really, it’s a super-powered distilled wine often referred to as the “soul of wine.”

Here’s a little more background on Brandy taken from the wonderful book The Bar: A Spirited Guide to Cocktail Alchemy by Olivier Said and James Mellgren:

Generally speaking, brandy is a distilled wine. Brandy made from fruit other than grapes is called either “fruit brandy” or eau-de-vie.” Brandies distilled from wine are aged for a number of years in oak barrels, from which they derive their color and a significant amount of flavor. Typically, fruit brandies are not aged in wood, or at all and remain clear.

Brandies were likely the world’s first distilled spirits, and the ancient Egyptians and Arabs no doubt distilled grape-based wines in their alchemic search for medicines and perfumes.

At the meeting, we will explore the virtues of brandy in three common forms: American brandy, Cognac, and Pisco, used in three classic cocktails. On the menu:

Brandy Old Fashioned (a Wisconsin North Woods take on perhaps the first cocktail ever)

Sidecar (a distant cousin of the Daisy family–as in Gin Daisy)

Pisco Sour (a lively little cocktail from our South American brothers and sisters)

So check back to hear our thoughts and get the recipes on this fine lady of a liquor.

In the meantime, here is how to make a classic sidecar:

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One Response to “Brandy, you’re a fine girl…”

  1. fulcrumpublishing February 26, 2009 at 5:44 pm #

    I love a good Sidecar! It’s my fave!

    Crazy coincidence- LUPEC2’s meeting was all about Pisco and “Pisco Sour Day” – a real Peruvian holiday!

    -The Vamp

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