Musgrave for cocktails

The history of brandy dates back to about 1313 when the French (who else?) discovered that by distilling wine they could make a very potent liquid which they called eau de vie—water of life.  They used this for medicinal purposes before they discovered it really helped the day go down a whole lot better. The Dutch perfected the method, resulting in the name Brandwine—get it?—brandy. Today brandy is made all over the world and uses many different kinds of fruit. The brandy made in Cognac is called by that name and the delicious apple brandy made also in France is called Calvados. The brandy from Armagnac is also much prized, but what we are concerned with here is our own lekker old Brandewyn.  The thing with brandy which is aged in wood, every year some of the precious liquid evaporates, resulting in what is known as “the angels’ share.” Like all things vinous, time and wood always mean money so the older the brandy, the more expensive it will be. Do bear that in mind.

Musgrave nip–50 ml

 

As we grew up, many of us remember the delights of brandy and Coke which made you nice and sick if you had enough of it, but today we are more sophisticated –oh yes-and don’t mind a shot or two in champagne—delicious and it definitely gives it some zoom. Most of our grape harvest is Chenin and a lot of that disappears into brandy, of which we make some of the world’s best. Look for these at your local Tops and other stores.

 

This week I am focussing on some that I have had which are particularly great—some serious and some fun. Of course they can be used in plenty of different cocktail recipes but I like them on their own with a small chunk of ice to open them up.

BOPLAAS POTSTILL RESERVE 8 YEAR OLD

8 years aging in Limousin and old Port casks results in an irresistible spirit packed with ripe stone fruit flavours, some honey tang and herbal floral notes underlying it all –smooth and delicious. From the clever Nels in Calitzdorp.

 

BOPLAAS 12 YEAR OLD POTSTILL

More years in French oak barrels add complexity and deepening character complemented by the use of some Colombar—a multi award winner—just fabulous.

 

MUSGRAVE COPPER BLACK HONEY POTSTLL BRANDY

Made with winter African honey, this unusual brandy has a subtle sweetness and tang which one would expect, but it also has a complexity and grip which have resulted in it being awarded the Michelangelo Trophy for most Innovative Product. Available in mini, 375ml and full bottles—so clever.

 

 

MUSGRAVE COPPER VANILLA POTSTILL

Deliciously complex vanilla overtones without all that sweetness usually associated with it. Especially delicious in adding new levels to a splash of soda water and a squeeze of fresh orange.

 

GRUNDHEIM POTSTILL 12 YEAR OLD.

Made in the classical manner—picture a fire and  cold Karoo nights, precious liquid distilling—get it? Delicious flavours of nuts, spices and Karoo herbs—heaven.

GRUNDHEIM GINGER BRANDY

Ginger adds its own distinctive nuances to this quirky brandy—just the thing to take the edge off a day that hasn’t quite gone the way you wanted it to. Wonderful.

Look for these at your local Tops and other stores.