Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Preparation Time 10 minutes

Makes about 1.25L (5 cups)


(serves 5)

2 x 150g punnets blackberries

500ml (2 cups) chilled lemonade

250ml (1 cup) chilled vodka

250ml (1 cup) chilled raspberry cranberry juice drink (Ocean Spray brand)

Crushed ice, to serve

Bought large feta-filled marinated green olives, to serve


Place the blackberries in the bowl of a food processor or the jug of a blender and process until pureed.

Strain through a fine sieve into a glass serving jug. Stir in lemonade, vodka, raspberry cranberry juice and ice until combined.

Place olives in a serving bowl and serve with the blackberry breeze.

Sea Breeze


2 parts Vodka

3 parts Cranberry juice

3 parts Grapefruit juice

1 Lime wedge

1 part Ice cubes

5 Ice (crushed)


Pour the vodka, cranberry juice and grapefruit juice into a tall glass with the ice. Stir well. Decorate with a lime wedge.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Types of brandy

There are three main types of brandy. The term “brandy” denotes grape brandy if the type is not otherwise specified.
Grape brandy
Grape brandy is produced by the distillation of fermented grapes.
  • American grape brandy is almost always from California.Popular brands include Christian Brothers, Coronet, E&J, Korbel, and Paul Masson.
  • Armagnac is made from grapes of the Armagnac region in Southwest of France (Gers, Landes, Lot-et-Garonne). It is single-continuous distilled in a copper still and aged in oaken casks from Gascony or Limousin. Armagnac was the first distilled spirit in France. Armagnacs have a specificity: they offer vintage qualities. Popular brands are Darroze, Baron de Sigognac, Larressingle, Delord, Laubade, Gélas and Janneau.
  • Brandy de Jerez is a brandy that originates from vineyards around Jerez de la Frontera in southern Spain.It is used in some sherries and is also available as a separate product. It has a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). The traditional production method has three characteristics: Aged in American oaken casks with a capacity of 500 litres, previously having contained sherry. The use of the traditional aging system of Criaderas and Soleras. Aged exclusively within the municipal boundaries of Jerez de la Frontera, El Puerto de Santa María, and Sanlúcar de Barrameda in the province of Cádiz.
  • Cognac comes from the Cognac region in France[2], and is double distilled using pot stills. Popular brands include Hine, Martell, Rémy Martin, Hennessy, Ragnaud-Sabourin, Delamain and Courvoisier. Portugal: Lourinhã, located in western Portugal, is one of the few brandy-making areas, besides Cognac and Armagnac, that have received appellation status.
  • South African South African grape brandies are, by law, made almost exactly as in Cognac, using a double-distillation process in copper pot stills followed by aging in oak barrels for a minimum of three years. Because of this, South African brandies are of a very high quality. A popular brand is Klipdrift.
  • Other countries: Grape brandy is also produced in many other countries, including Armenia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Moldova, and Pakistan.

The European Union legally enforces Cognac as the exclusive name for brandy produced and distilled in the Cognac area of France, and Armagnac from the Gascony area of France, using traditional techniques. Since these are considered PDO, they refer not just to styles of brandy but brandies from a specific region, i.e. a brandy made in California in a manner identical to the method used to make cognac, and which tastes similar to cognac, cannot be so called as it is not from the Cognac region of France.

Grape brandy is best drunk from a tulip-shaped glass or a snifter, at a cool room temperature.Often it is slightly warmed by holding the glass cupped in the palm or gently heating it with a candle; however, such heating may cause the alcohol vapor to become pungent so that the aromas are overpowered.

Brandy, like whisky and red wine, exhibits more pleasant aromas and flavors at a lower temperature, e.g., 16° Celsius (61°F). In most homes, this would imply that brandy should be cooled rather than heated for maximum enjoyment. Furthermore, alcohol (which makes up 40% of a typical brandy) becomes thin as it is heated (and more viscous when cooled). Thus, cool brandy produces a fuller and smoother mouthfeel and less of a “burning” sensation.

Fruit brandy

A bottle of fruit brandy made from apples.Fruit brandies are distilled from fruits other than grapes. Apples, plums, peaches, cherries, eldberberries, raspberries, blackberries, and apricots are the most commonly used fruits. Fruit brandy is usually clear and 80 to 90 proof. It is usually drunk chilled or over ice.

Calvados is an apple brandy from the French region of Lower Normandy.It is double distilled from fermented apples.

Coconut brandy is a fruit brandy made from coconut sap.

Eau-de-vie is a general French term for fruit brandy.

German Schnaps is fruit brandy produced in Germany or Austria.

Kirschwasser is a fruit brandy made from cherries.

Palinka is a traditional Hungarian fruit brandy.It can be made from any kind of fruit, most often from plums, apricots, elderberries, pears, or cherries. Less commonly, it is made from apples, peaches, or walnuts.

Slivovice is a strong fruit brandy made from plums; by law, it must contain at least 52% ABV. It is produced in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Poland.

Slivovitz is a fruit brandy made from plums. It is a traditional drink in Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia. Macedonia, Serbia, and Slovenia.

Tuica is a clear Romanian fruit brandy made from plums, apples, pears, apricots, mulberries, peaches, quinces, or mixtures of these. Romania and Moldova also produce a grape brandy called vin ars (burnt wine) or divin.

Pomace brandy

Pomace brandy is produced by fermentation and distillation of the grape skins, seeds, and stems that remain after grapes have been pressed to extract their juice (which is then used to make wine). Examples include Italian grappa, French marc, Bulgarian grozdova, Georgian chacha, and Cretan tsikoudia.

Most pomace brandy is not aged and not coloured.

Source - Wikipedia

Brandy Alexander

Ingredients (serves 4)

185ml (3/4 cup) brandy
185ml (3/4 cup) dark creme de cacao
185ml (3/4 cup) thin cream
1 cup crushed ice
Ground nutmeg, to garnish


Place the brandy, creme de cacao, cream and ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake until well combined. Strain through a sieve into serving glasses. Sprinkle with nutmeg and serve immediately.
Australian Good Taste