Brandy is made across the world with different ingredients like distilled wine or fruit. The types of brandy are aged in wood barrels; others are clear and unaged. So, what is a brandy made from?
It is an alcoholic drink that is distilled from wine or fermented fruit mash, and the name Brandy is mainly from grape products. Those brandies made from particular fruits bear the fruit name. Typically, most brandy types are aged except for some fruits called white the white types.
Depending on the process of production, they have labels like Very superior (VS), Very Superior Old Pale(VSOP), VSOP and XO(Extra Old). Brandy is used to making cocktails and in cooking. Tasters use the terms body, intensity and clarity to evaluate a brandy that’s ready for the market.
What is Brandy made from? History
Although it is not precisely known when the discovery to convert food to alcohol was made, it happened through fermentation. The process was discovered after civilization about the same time apple and grape juice were discovered in Europe.
Fructose was the main fermenting agent in both to produce hard cider and wine. In the Middle East, people also discovered grains that contain maltose would naturally ferment to the beer. In contrast, those in Asia discovered that horse milk contains lactose, and a natural fermentation process turned it into the air.
It may be true that initially distilled liquor was horse milk brandy and the alcohol was separated from the milk by freezing the water in harsh cold Mongolian winter. Alcohol was influential in the ancient world as it also bears medicinal properties that cured all health issues.
What is Brandy made from? – Raw materials
Brandy is made from materials that contain any sugar, and the types of brandy depend on their origin. Anything that contains sugar has the ability to ferment thus it can be used to make a brand. These ingredients are all fermented and distilled to separate the brandy.
The Process of Manufacturing Brandy
The primary objective by fine brandy maker’s is to produce a smooth alcoholic beverage that captures pleasing aromas from fruits that leave out any off-tastes and bitter chemicals. The manufacturing process is an art that removes all undesired flavours to preserve the underlying fruit taste.
Mass-produced brandies are made from various ingredients, but all flavours are removed, whether good or bad. As a result, the result is pure alcohol while fine brandies are processed in a way that they retain concentrated flavours of the fruits used as ingredients.
Some waste products from the manufacturing process are solid and liquid. Mostly, the solids are utilized as animal feed or as compost. At the same time, the liquid waste is evaporated in shallow ponds. In the future, there will be a massive production of many brandies across the world.
Types of Brandy
Cognac is made from grapes, and it is named after its region of origin, Cognac in France. It is described in its intense aromas, floral or fruit terms and tasters use the terms elegant, supple, delicacy and prominence when describing it.
There are six districts in Cognac that produce different quality of brandy and are arranged from the highest to lowest. VS takes two years of ageing while VSOP takes 4½ years in wood. Napoleon is classified as an XO, and it sits in the wood for 6½ years on the lower side, but it can go up to 10 years.
Fruit Brandy is made from fruits distilling the fermented wine, and they differ from fruit liqueurs then distilled from the fruit ingredient then flavoured to the existing grape brandy. Clear brandies are named after the ingredient fruit and are meant for drinking while fresh.
Pomace Brandy is typically made from grapes, but other fruits can also be used. Most, they are unaged and can spend any amount of time in the wood, which makes them harsher exposing the grape flavour.
What is a brandy made from? The primary ingredient is grapes, mashed fruits and anything that contains sugar. It is put through a fermentation process then distilled depending on the type. Also, some are aged in wooden barrels for a specific period, while others are unaged.
Brandies are served alone or mixed with soda then taken after dinner. They are also used in cooking, making cocktails, and also as a base to produce different distilled liqueurs.