Brandy & Cognac | Tequila Reef Bar & Restaurant | Cocktail Surprises
The French may enjoy the claim for making great Brandy throughout the world but it was the Dutch who discovered the ‘soul’ of wine first. They found out, quite by accident, that by distilling wine or fermented fruit and concentrating or eliminating the water would leave only the ‘soul’ or spirit of the wine. This left the final product easier to transport large shipments in their trading endeavors overseas. The idea was to add water at the destination port and rebottle the wine for sale on the markets. But, lo & behold, some bright Dutch Ship master thought this more potent ‘wine’ tasted much better and began selling it as is. The Dutch called this new wine ‘Brandewijn’ meaning burned wine.
Just like like Tequila there is only one Cognac. The French keep it this way on purpose. Only one place in France can make real Cognac. Not all Brandies are Cognac. For example, all fruit Brandies are just that. It comes in all flavors and potencies. Apples and apricots, blackberries and cherries, also pears, pineapples, and plums can be used to make Brandy.
Brandy is usually served after a good meal. It’s meant to be slowly enjoyed and appreciated for its taste and quality. Usually it’s served neat since it’s a sort of concentrated wine. You can also water it down to dilute it or it can be drunk with a touch of soda to accentuate the flavor. Brandy also goes quite well in the kitchen as it can be flamed, leaving a concentrated flavor over your dish after the alcohol burns off. If course, all Brandies may be used in mixing cocktails of all kinds.
This one was popular back in the 1920s & 30s in honor of Ernest Hemingway. It’s Applejack Brandy, grenadine, and lemon juice shaken up and served straight.
Here’s another that’s been around for a while: The good old Stinger. Just add creme de menthe to your Cognac with ice, mix it up real nice and strain it into a glass. Add a green mint garnish and you’re good to go!
Another traditional Cognac Cocktail. Old but not forgotten. It’s made with orange liqueur or triple sec and lemon juice. The Sidecar is a bright, shaken blend of citrus to any day or evening.
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