Brandy Exploration at Wine Village
It all started on a ship!
The word brandy (brandywine) is from the Dutch word “brandewijn”, meaning burnt or distilled wine. The Dutch used distillation as a method of preserving wine aboard their ships. Indeed, a tot of brandy was offered to the first man on board to sight land, leading to calls of “Land Ahoy” many days before the vessels actually docked.
The first brandy in South Africa was distilled aboard the Dutch ship Pijl, anchored in Table Bay harbour in 1672. The assistant cook succeeded in transforming two leaguers (1164 litres) of Cape wine into “three ankers (126 litres) of delicious brandy”.
Today, South African brandy is acknowledged to be the world’s finest. Comprehensive legislation and a proud tradition ensure that our brandy is of the highest quality. The title of Worldwide Best Brandy at the International Wine & Spirits competition has been awarded to a South African brandy for six consecutive years.
How do we enjoy brandy?
Any way you like! Blended brandies can be enjoyed with a favourite mixer such as ginger ale, fruit juice or cola.
World famous South African Potstill Brandies are best savoured neat, on the rocks or with a dash of water – always in a brandy snifter.
At Wine Village we present six premium Potstill Brandies every day to our customers. A true exploration into the secrets that master distillers ‘capture’ into the golden liquid from the vine. We will take you on an unforgettable journey in unlocking the hidden delights of our Potstill Brandies.
Join us for a fine brandy time.
- Brandy is used as a deglazing liquid used in making sauces for steak and other meat.
- To create a more intense flavour in some soups, notably onion soup.
- Christmas cake, brandy butter, and Christmas pudding.
- It is also commonly used in drinks such as mulled wine.
- Brandy is used to flambé dishes such as crêpe Suzette and cherries jubilee.
- Cheese with intense aromas and flavours, such as Gorgonzola and Roquefort.
- Good-quality dark chocolate.
- Fresh oysters.
- Seasonal fruits.
- Rich food made with cream and eggs.
The days of a straight forward G&T is long gone! Today we have a choice of some 60 South African Gins of Origin. Each one delicately distilled to showcase the art of gin to its best.
In the 13th century a Dutch scientist originally formulated juniper berry oil as a medicine and it was added to distilled spirit along with botanicals to make it more palatable. It was prescribed as a remedy for kidney ailments, lumbago, stomach ailments and gout.
Popular botanical flavouring agents may include any of the following: citrus elements, anise, angelica root and seed, orris root, licoricey root, cinnamon, almond, savoury, dragon eye, saffron, baobab, frankincense, coriander, grains of paradise, nutmeg, cassia bark and/or other spices.
In South Africa our Gin of Origin may include any of some 30 local wild herbs and plants, giving our local craft gins its own distinctive character. A variety of classic Londen Dry gins are produced. Others are fynbos infused, some with delicate floral undertones, wild cucumber, local buchu, wild dagga, evil’s claw and many more old-world veld herbs adds unique flavours to differentiate South African gins from the rest of the world.
Gin can be drunk neat on ice or it can be the bases of 100’s of cocktails, as the botanicals (herbs, spices etc.) come to life in cocktails and add complexity to the drink. Therefore, so many classic cocktails call for gin. The most popular G&T however is still the favourite! Use a low sugar tonic and experience a new world of sensational flavours. Garnish your gin with a couple of coffee beans or a sprig of fennel or a couple of pepper corns or sliced strawberry or blue berries and the flavours will enhance your favourite tipple.
Six years ago, a small discovery was made at Wine Village. Five drops of water! Add five drops of water before ice or tonic and you will experience a whole lot more! Or visit Wine Village for a free tasting of some of South Africa’s best craft gins.