Life Style

We Asked Bartenders To Name Their Favorite Brandies

We write usually about whiskey, whisky, bourbon, rye, rum, vodka, tequila, and gin. However in terms of brandy, we principally preserve our protection to the holiday season. Its richer, extra syrupy incarnations simply really feel very Christmas-y.

However brandy — a spirit made from wine or fruits — is greater than only a seasonal sipper. Applejack feels very summery, and its a sort of brandy. Cognac, Armagnac, pisco, calvados… it’s a giant fashion that deserves your consideration all 12 months spherical.

“I really like utilizing brandy in a sidecar, and I really like toddies with them too,” says Una Inexperienced, a United States Bartenders Guild (USBG) bartender in Los Angeles and a West Coast Whiskey Ambassador. “I really like to separate base a toddy with brandy and whisky — one half D’Usse to 1 half Aberfeldy 12. Have enjoyable, get wild, it’s all scrumptious.”

Inexperienced isn’t the one bartender who reps exhausting for brandy. So we requested a handful of our favourite bartenders to inform us the most effective brandies to sip and blend with to assist make the tail finish of winter hotter.

Château de Pellehaut Armagnac Tenareze


Austin Zimmer, bartender at Le Prive in New York Metropolis

Château de Pellehaut Armagnac Tenareze; it’s distilled and aged in a standard means and has an attention-grabbing mixture of various grapes — making a pear, peach, mandarin, and chocolate taste.

Common Value: $46.99

Argonaut Fats Thumb Brandy


Jennifer Akin, common supervisor at Rumba in Seattle

Argonaut Fats Thumb Brandy: Nice for winter, but additionally year-round, this brandy is principally a winter pie in a spirit. Caramelized pear and baked apple pie with baking spice, oak, coconut, and an incredible richness.

Plus, they’ve Rita Hansen, a badass feminine grasp blender.

Common Value: $49.99

Laird’s Applejack


Hayden Miller, head bartender at Bodega Taqueria y Tequila in Miami

Laird’s Applejack is my attain in brandy for mixing at house. Cut up base with any bourbon or rye and nice vacation spice awaits in your so most well-liked cocktail.

Common Value: $20.99

Chateau de Laubade 1999 Armagnac


Brandon “Habi” Habenstein, bartender at The Kitchen & Bar at Bardstown Bourbon Co. in Bardstown, Kentucky

Get a bottle of Chateau de Laubade 1999. This can be a single classic that may be a sleeper at liquor shops. You could find this bottle for about $90 and it’s presumably probably the most complicated spirit you’ll ever style.

If you happen to like earthy flavors in your whiskies, it’s essential to style the country flavors of a advantageous Armagnac.

Common Value: $79.99

Cyrano 25 Armagnac


Josh Curtis, lead bartender at Carbon Beach Club in Malibu, California

Cyrano 25 Armagnac is a beautiful brandy from Armagnac, France aged 25-40 years in French Oak Barrels. Its brulee-meets-cacao notes make it a beautiful after-dinner tasting.

Common Value: $119.99

Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac

Pierre Ferrand

Andy Printy, beverage director at Chao Baan in St. Louis

This winter, I like to recommend the Pierre Ferrand 1840. It’s one of many few over-proofed expressions within the class, however drinks very complicated. The nostril is mild with dry wooden and a contact of dry pear. The palate is wealthy with warmth and spice on the entrance and finishes with mild citrus and black pepper.

It’s increased proof and boldness additionally lends itself to nice cocktails corresponding to a sidecar or stinger.

Common Value: $44.99

Copper & Kings Butchertown Brandy

Copper & Kings

Jack Tillman, mixologist at Rand Tower Hotel in Minneapolis

Copper & Kings Butchertown. Sitting at 124 Proof, the Copper & Kings Butchertown Brandy stands tall and robust. Particularly when aided with a little bit of water or ice, it reveals some light fruit notes below a blanket of oaky proof, supplied from being aged in each ex-bourbon barrels and new American oak.

If you happen to’re a fan of bourbon and are inquisitive about making an occasional change to brandy, that is the place to start out.

Common Value: $59.99

Philbert Uncommon Cask Sherry End Cognac


Anastacio Garcia Liley, bartender at Axe and Oak Whiskey House in Colorado Springs, Colorado

My greatest total brandy for winter consuming: Philbert Uncommon Cask Sherry End. The oloroso barrels actually make this toasty cherry deliciousness. It’s excellent for mixing or sipping neat.

Common Value: $57.88

Korbel Brandy


Kirstin Sabik, mixologist at Sneaky Tiki in Pensacola, Florida

Korbel. This two-time gold medal-winning brandy is produced utilizing 100% of the best California grapes. With over 130 years of expertise, you’ll be able to indulge within the wealthy, caramel and toffee style.

Common Value: $10.99

Bertoux Brandy


Kimberly Basnight, lead bartender at Fins Bar in Nashville

Bertoux Brandy is my favourite as a result of it’s nice for mixing or sipping. You’re going to get hints of apricot and burnt sugar which makes it an ideal mix. There’s a motive it’s one of the crucial widespread brandies available on the market.

Common Value: $42.99

Ciroc VS French Brandy


Sire Negri, lead mixologist at Havana Beach Bar & Grill in Rosemary Seaside, Florida

Trending within the brandy world is a more recent launch from Ciroc, Ciroc VS French Brandy. This launch from Ciroc is distilled from French grapes, making a scrumptious consequence. Robust notes of candy caramel are an ideal accompaniment in a traditional cocktail, such because the sidecar or in a modern-style blended drink.

Common Value: $36.74

Remy Martin VSOP Cognac

Remy Martin

Stephen Lasaten, meals and beverage supervisor at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas within the US Virgin Islands

If you happen to’re in search of an reasonably priced high-end brandy: Remy Martin VSOP. However it must be executed proper: in a heated glass, served heat. Velvety and candy on the palate with a heat and robust end. It’s a pleasant heat hug to your soul and provides you the sensation of classiness when sipping it from a baccarat snifter.

Common Value: $34.99

Somerset Cider Brandy


Jim Wrigley, beverage supervisor at Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa within the Cayman Islands

Retaining with the Calvados-vibe, however with one other wild card, the English cider brandy from the Somerset Cider Brandy Co. is a scrumptious slice of boozy home-baked apple pie, full with a biscuit nostril and a spicy end that may give many costlier cognacs a run for his or her cash… if you could find it.

Common Value: $50

Hennessy XO


Michele Gargiulo, entrance of home supervisor and sommelier at Hampton’s Restaurant in Sumter, South Carolina

Hopefully, another person is shopping for this one for me this winter: Hennessy XO.

That is the final word cognac, aged for classy nights. Milk chocolate, candied plums, espresso beans, and a touch of jasmine are the dominant flavors. It’s distinctive served neat, but additionally can profit from being placed on the rock — one massive is greatest — which helps to open it up and showcase extra delicate floral aromas and whispers of peach and walnuts. I like to drink it whereas consuming darkish chocolate and candied walnuts.

Common Value: $199.99

Singani 63


Andres Rairan, lead bartender at The Social Club in Miami

I’m going to go just a little off the “brandy grid” right here and say that Singani 63 is my favourite brandy for winter. I labored with this spirit final 12 months and fell in love with it. It comes from Bolivia, so the flavors are very distinctive and utterly totally different from any conventional brandy you’re interested by.

As a result of it’s clear, working with it in a cocktail is extraordinarily straightforward. I used a rosemary syrup and added a contact of ardour fruit puree to create a lovely martini final winter and it was one among my high sellers for the season.

Common Value: $32.99

Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac

Pierre Ferrand

Mark Phelan, director of beverage operations at 16” on Center in Chicago

Many bartenders love Pierre Ferrand Cognac and I’m no exception. Their Ambre bottling is my favourite: a lean, dry Cognac with an extended, delicate, nearly floral end that may be a work of magic. Sufficiently old to be an X.O., it carries the identical complexity, however a youthful profile and pleasant value level make it excellent for sipping and mixing.

Common Value: $46.99

Martell Blue Swift Cognac


Jane Hazard, nationwide mixologist for Pernod-Ricard USA

Martell Blue Swift is my go-to. It’s completed in ex-bourbon barrels to provide the better of each spirits. Cognac shines with fruit and spice, bourbon brings vanilla, caramel, and oak. A bit Martell Blue Swift neat with a winter beer is the brand new nightcap for the lengthy chilly evenings.

Common Value: $45.99

Remy Martin Louis XIII Cognac

Remy Martin

Sarah Rexwinkle, key bartender at The Grand Marlin in Pensacola, Florida

Remy Martin Louis XIII Cognac is a standard Cognac from the central area of France that everybody ought to strive a minimum of as soon as of their lifetime. It opens on the palate with floral, fruit, and spice aromas.

Common Value: $3,500

Lepanto PX Solera Gran


Allen Lancaster, grasp cocktail Craftsman at The Bar at The Spectator Resort in Charleston, South Carolina

I’ve had the nice fortune to go to Jerez de la Frontera in Spain and actually gained an appreciation for Sherry brandies. My present favourite is Lapanto PX Solera Gran Reserva and it usually prices round sixty {dollars}. Apricot, papaya, and marzipan stand out for this nutty, mildly candy, and chic brandy.

Common Value: $74.99

Christian Drouhin Calvados VSOP

Christian Drouhin

Ilan Chartor, head bartender at MILA in Miami

Christian Drouhin Calvados VSOP. Arms down, little question. I’ve been consuming this lots recently. Perhaps an excessive amount of. It’s elegant and fruity with nice hints of spice and velvety mouthfeel. A dram of that and a lit hearth looks as if a match made in heaven.

Common Value: $74.99


Source: We Asked Bartenders To Name Their Favorite Brandies

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