Posts Tagged ‘brandy’

How much you know about what you poured into your mouth? Part 2.1 – Brandy

April 12, 2021 – 9:48 am 1 Comment

Brandy, rather classy name to most of us, most of all, a drink that come along with hefty price tag in any pubs or your favorite hangout place. However, choices in our region are really limited for this spirit, usually around 1 and not more than 3 choices in any pub or cafe. Everywhere you go, Martell, Hennessy, Remy Martin, Courvoisier (the big four), Camus & Otard. How often you will get all these 6 brands under the same roof?

Brandy is just a general term, in fact, too general that spirits that made of grape residues, apples, pears or even berries can also be refer as brandy and known differently in the region they are from. There are 2 approaches you can go into:

First, the region or nation producing it. For example, all the brandies that made their way successfully to our region are better refer as COGNAC, a region in France that produce arguably the best brandy in the world, (yes, we are so lucky). Another region will be Armagnac, following closely behind.  The brand of Armagnac to lookout for is Chabot, if you are interested to try one. Besides the French, we also have brandies from the Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Greek, German and even South African, basically any nation that produce wine, or grape wine to be precise, brandy is just a “distillation” away.

Second, the source. Brandy can be distilled from a wide variety of fruits or even pomace (grape/fruits residues). Fruits ranging from apples, pears, apricots, cherries, berries, yes, berries… but I am not going into this, not like we are able to get those in our favorite groceries store. However, you might be able to get apple brandy if you are lucky enough; the brand is Laird’s Applejack from America or Calvados, apple brandy from France.

As for pomace brandies, considered to be a rather lowbrow little spirit for rustic folk. After all, pomace brandy is produced from the wastes of wine production. Not common here, but a good example will be grappa from Italy and Marc from France, just keep an eye for them. The rest will be, yes, you guessed it, from nations that are proud of their wine production.

A brief history on brandy, it was first distilled mainly to replace wine. Why? Because wine are simply too fragile to survive the rough journey of sea. The spirit kept in cask often watered down to lower strength for drinking after reaching its destination, people also soon realize the cask were able to improve the spirit to be enjoyed neat. Some of the “distilled wine” were added back into wine to prevent turning sour hence the fortified wine we are able to savior today, Port, Marsala, Maidera… which all have high transportability. I am referring to the period where the sky was the limit for transportation.

So, just to sums up things here, all if not, more than 98% of the brandies that available to us are distilled from grape (mainly ugni blanc) unpalatable wine with high acidity (how ironic), produced and aged in the cognac region of France.

We shall go in further and share my encounters with it on the second part of Brandy or to exact, Cognac.


Playing With Lemon

January 21, 2021 – 9:27 am No Comments

I have been thinking to mix drinks with lemon… not that I want to be a bartender or anything but thinking to mix the taste with lemon. As lemon play a big part in food chemistry, I bet it play a big part in drink chemistry as well.

So first stop I try it with lemon and whisky. To be exact is Jack Daniel as the cheapest whisky at the bar. It was a surprise. The taste come out better that I thought. The sweet aroma and the citrus sour make the whisky more palatable.

The lemon actually balance up the taste. The aroma of the blend also balance up and to my surprise it actually have a light hint of banana comfort aroma on the nose. Is a very successful mixture that surprise to the palate. I was quite satisfy with the mixed.

Second stop we try with brandy. But we play with 2 different style, one is just adding the lemon drops and the other we add in the zest while flaming the brady.

The adding of the juice did not give any lemon character to the brandy until certain amount that are not favourable to brandy.

As for the zest and flaming, the conclusion are better but is not worth the effort. The reason is too much hassle, may as well make a cocktail out of it. The zest give a citrus aroma to the brandy but is not worth while to do.

Third stop is even more adventures. An espresso with lemon squeeze. The end product is the espresso is too strong, no hint of lemon on the nose and sour taste to the coffee. It create an easier palate to down, but the coffee aroma is too strong to let the lemon to gain any foot hold on it. So this experiment failed big time.

There’s not much conclusion, I was just playing around with ideas with CK (Mayfair’s Bartender). Stirring the idea from my mind how lemon can enhance more taste out of the drinks that normally people will blend with coke and green tea.

Of course not the coffee. The coffee is just to try out how lemon can effect strong taste. But I’m glad to conduct this experiment. It gives a different perspective to taste which really bring up a few notch. If you guys try any good blend which I should give it a go, please let me know. Cheers!

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