A distilled beverage, liquor, or spirit is an alcoholic beverage containing ethanol that is produced by distilling ethanol produced by means of fermenting grain, fruit, or vegetables...
produced by distilling
Distillation is a method of separating mixtures based on differences in volatilities of components in a boiling liquid mixture. Distillation is a unit operation, or a physical separation process, and not a chemical reaction....
Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...
. Brandy generally contains 35%–60% alcohol by volume
Alcohol by volume
Alcohol by volume is a standard measure of how much alcohol is contained in an alcoholic beverage .The ABV standard is used worldwide....
and is typically taken as an after-dinner drink
Apéritif and digestif
Apéritifs and digestifs are alcoholic drinks that are normally served with meals.-Apéritifs:An apéritif is usually served before a meal to stimulate the appetite. This contrasts with digestifs, which are served after a meal for the purpose of aiding digestion...
. Some brandies are aged in wooden casks
A barrel or cask is a hollow cylindrical container, traditionally made of vertical wooden staves and bound by wooden or metal hoops. Traditionally, the barrel was a standard size of measure referring to a set capacity or weight of a given commodity. A small barrel is called a keg.For example, a...
, while some are simply coloured with caramel colouring to imitate the effect of such aging (and some brandies are produced using a combination of both aging and colouring).
Brandy is also produced from fermented fruits other than grapes, but these products are typically called eaux-de-vie
Eau de vie
An eau de vie is a clear, colorless fruit brandy that is produced by means of fermentation and double distillation...
In some countries, fruit flavouring or some other flavouring may be added to a spirit that is called "brandy".
Brandy may be served neat
Straight up (bartending)
In bartending, the term straight up refers to an alcoholic drink that is shaken or stirred with ice and then strained and served without ice in a stemmed glass....
or on the rocks
Ice cubes are small, roughly cube-shaped pieces of ice, conventionally used to cool beverages. Ice cubes are often preferred over crushed ice because they melt more slowly; they are standard in mixed drinks that call for ice, in which case the drink is said to be "on the rocks."Ice cubes are...