How To Drink Brandy

Knowing how to drink brandy will either impress your friends or make you look like an utter snob. How you drink your brandy is going to depend on the quality of the brandy that you're drinking. A high quality brandy should be consumed without any mixers or ice that may damage or change the flavor of your brandy. Cheap brandy shouldn't be consumed straight- instead of giving you the slow warmth of a good brandy, the cheap stuff make you gag and burn your throat- the cheap stuff is best used for mixed drinks. But because brandy is a derivative of wine, it doesn't lend itself to the usual bar mixers like soda and fruit juice. No matter how you decide to enjoy your brandy, knowing how to drink it the right way will make you look like a man who knows what he's doing, even when you don't.

  1. Neat- Also known as drinking brandy straight, to drink brandy "neat" is when you drink brandy by itself with no ice or mixer. The key to enjoying a brandy neat is having the right glass. Since brandy is a derivative of wine it should be enjoyed like a good wine. Having a brandy neat starts with picking the right glass. While a brandy snifter works best, any glass with a narrow rim and a broad base will work. The shape of the glass will help the brandy breathe, opening up it's flavors as the air moves through the brandy and up through the glass. Avoid putting ice in your brandy if you're drinking it neat. The ice will water down the brandy and ruin the flavor.
  2. Mixed drinks- Because brandy is part of the wine family it doesn't mix will with sodas and tonics; but it works brilliantly with schnapps, orange juice, vermouth, lemon juice, lime juice and triple sec, there are a lot of recipes out there for brandy based mixed drinks. If you want to stick with the basics you can use your brandy to whip up a Side-Car or a Brandy Alexander. If you want to be a bit more daring try making a Baltimore Bracer or Bombay Cocktail.
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