I’m in the US.
Brandy is a hard liquor comprised of distilled wine. It has a high alcohol content. It doesn’t taste like wine, and unlike wine, it keeps a long time. Brandy is warming and has strong solvent qualities. If you need to steep medicinal roots in liquor to make an herbal extract, it might just be a good bet.
Some people like this liquor plain or “neat.” Respectfully, I prefer to mix brandy with other ingredients. For me, the assertive alcohol fumes and taste are too pungent. No worries; there are plenty of ways to enjoy this liquor.
Brandy & cherry juice is a delicious drink. These ingredients just seem to like each other. Use up to one shot of brandy and about a half a cup to a cup of cherry juice. Lately, the black cherry juice I buy in the health food store tastes like tomato juice. The liquid that gathers in the bowl when you defrost frozen cherries is a good alternative. If you are cold, you could try gently warming this drink up on the stove.
Brandy and cola or brandy in coffee tastes pretty good, although for me, the caffeine and alcohol cancel each other out. I like brandy and soda. If you don’t know, soda is club soda, water with bubbles in it.
As you may know, brandy can be used to spike egg nog.
A half a teaspoon of brandy in hot tea (or other hot drink) helps ward off a cold for me. This can also help when I am chilled from swimming in cold water. In fact, I try to keep brandy around for various medicinal uses. Supposedly the use of liquor to warm people up has been debunked. My experience says otherwise.
Christian Brothers brandy is a good brand. Where I live you see it in a lot of places during the holidays. Otherwise, you may find it at CVS drugstores.
In my opinion, Raynal is a superior brandy from France. The Raynal VSOP grade has a smooth clean flavor. Raynal Napoleon brandy, when available, is more complex and herby. Both are excellent. I first encountered Raynal brandy in a drug store or supermarket. After that I had to special order it into a good liquor store.
E&J “Brandy” is the one you find in most supermarkets where I live. It’s a Gallo brand and tastes like vomit. I guess E&J stands for Ernest and Julio. Unfortunately it appears that space on some supermarket liquor shelves is for rent to the highest bidder.
I’m not sure, but I think I remember a liquor department manager telling me that Paul Masson is a good brandy. I’ve seen it in a CVS drugstore.
I am independent. I buy the things I write about anonymously out of my own pocket. I have no affiliation with any liquor company or retailer.