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Brandy Basics

Brandy derives it’s name from the Dutch word brandewijn meaning “burned wine” and is a liquor distilled from wine or other fermented fruit juices. Most brandy is 80 proof (40% alcohol/volume) and has been enjoyed for centuries as a cocktail and cooking ingredient. This spirit is not the one to be chosen based solely on price because a low-quality brandy can ruin an otherwise great cocktail.


Vodka is the most popular distilled spirit found in cocktails and mixed drinks and is essential to every bar. Its popularity comes from the general characteristic that it has no discernible or distinct flavor or smell and is often clear, so it allows the other ingredients that it is mixed with to be the focal point. There are thousands of vodka cocktails, and those like the Vodka Tonic, Screwdriver, and Cosmopolitan are some of the most popular ones.

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