How To Drink Brandy: A Complete Guide For Beginners

Brandy is a type of distilled spirit that is made by distilling wine or other fermented fruit juice. It is a popular alcoholic beverage that has been enjoyed for centuries, and it is often considered to be a luxurious drink that is best sipped and savoured slowly. If you are new to drinking brandy, this beginner's guide will provide you with everything you need to know to start enjoying this classic spirit.

Drinking brandy can be a luxurious and enjoyable experience, whether you are sipping it after dinner or enjoying it as a nightcap. By choosing the right glassware, selecting the right type of brandy, and sipping it slowly, you can fully appreciate the complex flavours and aromas of this classic spirit. Whether you prefer a smooth and elegant Cognac or a more robust Armagnac, there is a type of brandy out there for everyone. So, grab a snifter, pour yourself a small amount, and take your time sipping and savouring this delicious spirit.

There are many different types of brandy, each with its own unique characteristics and flavour profiles. 

  • Cognac - This is a type of brandy that is produced in the Cognac region of France. It is made from specific types of grapes and is aged in oak barrels for a minimum of two years. Cognac is known for its smoothness and rich, complex flavours.
  • Armagnac - This is another type of brandy that is produced in France, but it is made in the Armagnac region. It is often considered to be a more rustic and robust brandy than Cognac, with flavours that are more earthy and intense.
  • Brandy de Jerez - This is a type of brandy that is produced in Spain, in the Jerez region. It is made from distilled wine that has been aged in oak barrels that were previously used to age sherry. Brandy de Jerez has a distinct nutty flavour and is often enjoyed as an after-dinner drink.
  • American Brandy - This is a type of brandy that is produced in the United States. It is made from a variety of different grapes and can have a range of flavours, depending on the specific type of brandy.

When it comes to drinking brandy, it is important to choose the right glassware. The best type of glass for brandy is a snifter, which is a short-stemmed glass with a wide bowl that narrows at the top. The wide bowl of the snifter allows the brandy to be swirled around, releasing its aromas, while the narrow opening concentrates those aromas and allows you to savour the complex flavours of the spirit.

Drinking brandy is a bit different from drinking other types of spirits, such as whiskey or vodka. 

  • Serve brandy at room temperature - Brandy should be served at room temperature, as this allows you to fully appreciate its complex flavours and aromas.
  • Pour a small amount - When pouring brandy, it is best to start with a small amount, usually about an ounce or two. This allows you to sip and savour the drink slowly.
  • Hold the glass properly - When drinking brandy, it is important to hold the glass by the stem or base, rather than the bowl. This prevents the warmth of your hand from warming up the brandy and altering its flavour.
  • Take your time - Brandy is a drink that is meant to be sipped slowly and savoured. Take small sips and allow the flavours and aromas to fully develop on your palate.
  • Add a splash of water - If you find that the brandy is too strong or intense for your taste, you can add a small splash of water to help mellow out the flavours.