What is Brandy?
Brandy began to be distilled in France circa 1313, but it was prepared only as a medicine and was considered as possessing such marvelous strengthening and sanitary powers that the physicians named it “the water of life”. Brandy is usually distilled from wine or other fermented fruit. With the exception of certain fruit, brandies are usually aged. Aging in wooden containers deepens colour to amber, the use of paraffin-lined casks or earthenware maintains the original clear colour, and the addition of a caramel solution darkens colour. Beverage brandy contains about 50% alcohol by volume; brandy used to fortify sherry, Madeira, and the other dessert wines contains about 80–95% alcohol by volume.