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Difference Between Brandy and Cognac

brand_cognacBrandy is a kind of alcoholic drink made from wine anywhere in the world while cognac is a special kind of brandy made only in Western France.

Brandy is derived from the Dutch word for ‘burnt wine’ and is produced by the distillation of wine after grapes have been properly fermented. Brandy usually contains 36 to 60 per cent of alcohol according to volume and is very popular across the world as an after-dinner drink or for keeping one warm. Brandy can also be made from fermented fruit other than grapes.

Cognac is made in the French city of the same name and its surrounding areas. It is double distilled with pot stills. Cognac is said to be made from ‘eaux-de-vie’ (waters of life) which is the product obtained after double distillation of white wine. Cognac was first produced to utilize the grape waste that had been left because of making of wine. Distillation gives a colorless residue of 70 per cent alcohol and it is left to age for at least two years before it can be recognized as Cognac. The final product is diluted to about 40 per cent of alcohol content according to volume. Sometimes major cognac manufacturers add caramel to add color to it.

There are mainly three types of brandy. These include grape brandy. American grape brandy comes from California, Armagnac brandy from the Armagnac region of France, Brandy de Jerez from Spain, Pisco from Peru and Chile. Several other countries produce their own special types of brandies too. It is traditional to drink grape brandy at room temperature from a tulip brandy glass.

Then, there is fruit brandy that includes types like Calvados from French and has 40 to 45 per cent of alcohol content according to volume. Fruit brandy can be made from cherries, plums, apples, raspberries etc. American apple brandy is made after distilling hard cider. Buchu fruit brandy comes from South Africa. Many other countries have their own special fruit brandies. Finally, there is Pomace brandy made from the fermentation and distillation of grape skin, seed, stem and other remains after juice has been extracted. It is neither aged nor colored.

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