When we tell people we make brandy at the distillery, we often get looks of utter confusion. I certainly don't blame people, they're just not familiar with the spirit.
Over the years, whiskey, vodka and gin dominated the craft spirits landscape. That's nothing new. But American craft distillers, including us at Dorćol, are making a strong case for brandy.
If you haven't seen it yet, Imbibe magazine just published a great story about American brandy, titled "Out of the dark: American brandy emerges from Europe's shadow." In the piece, author Max Watman looks at the history of the spirit and chats with craft distillers across the nation about brandy's future. And just as we are, distillers are deeply enthusiastic.
"Brandy is the last undiscovered American drink,” Joe Heron, founder of Copper & Kings Distillery in Kentucky, said in the article.
For starters, brandy is a spirit made from fruit including grapes, apples, pears, plums and apricots. Eau-de-vie is the French term for brandy while rakia (rakija) is the Balkan term for the spirit. Cognac and Armagnac are grape brandies named for their specific regions of origin in France.
At Dorćol, we make Kinsman Rakia, an award-winning apricot brandy that's double distilled and unaged, giving the spirit big bursts of apricot and tropical fruit on the front, with a dry, slightly spicy finish. Kinsman's clean flavor makes the spirit extremely versatile. Heck, at the distillery's bar, we have a menu of more than 30 classic cocktails where Kinsman is used as the base spirit.
And things don't end there. We've jump started our barrel-aging program and it's already smelling delicious. There's no timeline on a release but stay tuned to see what we have in store.
Big props to Imbibe for giving brandy some love. While they believe brandy is the next best thing to happen in the craft spirits industry, we believe it's already here!