In the early 16th century, a Dutchman trader invented a way to ship more wine in the limited cargo space. He did this by removing water from the wine. This was done so that he could add the water back to the concentrated wine at the destination port in Holland where they docked. They called it “bradwijn,” meaning “burned wine”, and, you guessed it; this later became “brandy”.
What is Brandy?
Brandy is a distilled spirit that is typically made from fermented fruit juice. Brandy is commonly made from grapes and other fruits such as apples, apricots, peaches and others. It’s produced around the world as Cognac and other forms. Brandy was also one of the most popular spirits used in the first bars, which is why it’s found in many of the best cocktails. Today, brandy is enjoyed by drinkers all over the world.
In South Africa, a ‘Brandy and Coke’ is one of the top drinks that you can get in a bar, pub or club. Enjoyed by thousands of people all over South Africa, this drink could possibly go down in history as one of our country’s favourite drinks! Brandy, Branderwyn or Klippies en Coke is very near and dear to the people of South Africa!
Since the old days of buying a bottle of brandy and a Coke, Brandy has advanced and you can now buy pre-mixed brandy drinks to enjoy at weekend braais with your mates, all thanks to the respective Brandy companies such as KlipDrift and KWV.
What Is Brandy Made From?
While there are various ways distilleries can make brandy, there are four standard steps in the production process.
First, the fruit is fermented into wine, which is then distilled into alcohol. Once distillation is complete, then begins the ageing process. This step is key to differentiating the variety and quality of the brandy. The final step is to blend the distilled liquor with various other barrels of brandy and water, to taste and test the bottling strength.
How to drink Brandy
The classic way to enjoy a high-quality brandy is in a brandy snifter glass at room temperature. The drinker holds the bowl of the snifter in the palm of their hand to warm the brandy and release all the aromas. Brandies are typically served in this fashion as an after-dinner drink. Much like whisky, a high-quality brandy is typically enjoyed with elegance and class, sipped slowly.
At the Hillcrest TOPS, we have a wide selection of Brandy’s to choose from. Come and try and enjoy one of South Africa’s most treasured drinks responsibly.We hope to see you in stores soon!