Brandy is a wine brandy obtained from the distillation of red wine or white wine. This drink is ideal for tasting in moderation all year round, in summer as in winter. Moreover, it is quite possible to do it at home. You just need to have the right equipment and use the right technique. To enjoy this eau-de-vie in any season and appreciate the flavor of the homemade, discover the brandy recipe.
The material and the ingredients
The first step in making homemade brandy is to gather the necessary materials for your small distillery. The still is an essential tool to do this. Choose a model suitable for your stove, preferably copper. A capacity ranging between 1 liter and 2 liters will be more than enough. Note that the still can also be used to make different kinds of liqueurs and spirits. You will also need glass containers, a ladle, a casserole dish that can hold the still, a measuring cup and a clean towel. As an ingredient, you will mainly need only wine, red or white grape varieties depending on your preference.
Start the preparation by placing the still on the heat. For this, pour water in the casserole, then place the still in it. Place everything on the fire. Then pour wine into the still, filling it up to three quarters. Secure the cover and plug in the tool. Then fill the condenser with cold water and place a glass container underneath to collect the alcohol. Be sure to read the instructions for your still model in order to understand its operation and use.
Distillation is a slow operation. It must also be regular. Indeed, the wine contained in the still should simmer without ever boiling. To achieve this, heat everything on the fly until you get the first drops of distillate. Note that the flow of alcohol should be slow; otherwise, reduce the heat slightly. Collect the first drops which are toxic, if they contain methyl alcohol and acetone. Sniff until the smell of solvent is gone. Throw away this first pour.
Then collect the heart of the distillation which should have a fruity smell of your wine. The liquor obtained is clear and can smell of grapes, tangerine, vanilla, mint, apricot, cinnamon, blackberry, strawberry, melon, raspberries, cherries or all kinds of citrus fruits. Be sure to adjust the fire according to the smell that you must not stop observing. However, avoid overheating the still as this may dry out the must. Note that the latest distillates contain less alcohol and are less rich in aromas and flavor. When this liquid begins to flow, stop the heat and discard the still bottoms.
Finally, pour the heart of the distillation into a suitable container. For 1.5 liters of wine you should have obtained 300 ml of brandy. The brandy thus obtained must be stored in a container with a tight-fitting lid. You must wait until the elixir obtained has time to breathe for a few days before you can taste it. It is even recommended to store brandy for several months to age it. The taste will only be better for your aperitif or as an ingredient in your cocktail.