Brandy is found in a number of classic cocktails, many of which have been lost to time and the pages of dusty bartending guides. A few of the best drinks have lasted through the years and remain favorites for many cocktail lovers.
These drinks are a nice introduction to mixing with brandy and are among the simplest recipes you'll find, so anyone can mix them up in just a few minutes. By keeping the recipe simple and using common bar ingredients as accents, a good brandy can shine in the drink. That is the real beauty of these brandy cocktails and why they have been so popular for so long.
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We will begin the list with the one and only Brandy Cocktail, which fits the definition of a cocktail perfectly. It mixes brandy with curacao, then finishes it off with 2 dashes of both Angostura and Peychaud's Bitters.
You will find that this hint of orange and bitters is subtle, yet elegant and it's a perfect way to dress up any brandy.
Recommended Brandy: St. Remy XO Brandy (80 proof, $32)
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The Brandy Daisy is very similar to the Brandy Cocktail and it represents a style of cocktail as well. The brandy version is one of the better 'daisy cocktails' and merely uses a few dashes of rum, Curacao, and simple syrup with lemon and soda to bring everything together.
This daisy is a very delicate cocktail and is ideal for some of your finer brandies and cognacs.
Recommended Brandy: Camus Elegance VSOP Cognac (80 proof, $35)
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Just as gin has the Martini and whiskey has the Manhattan, brandy has the Metropolitan. This classic recipe mixes brandy with sweet vermouth and simple syrup for a simple, satisfying drink that is great before dinner.
The addition of simple syrup adds just a hint of sweetness that brings the vermouth and brandy into balance. Take it easy and don't add too much.
Recommended Brandy: Courvoisier VS Cognac (80 proof, $25)
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As many of these recipes show, simpler is often better and no cocktail proves this more than the B&B. You really do not need a recipe, either: it is equal parts of brandy and the herbal liqueur, Benedictine, served in a snifter.
It is, as one reader puts it, a 'heavenly drink' and can show off the finest brandies in style.
Recommended Brandy: Hennessy VS Cognac (80 proof, $32)Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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The Sidecar is one of those drinks that has seen many makeovers over the years and it is one that you can easily adapt to your personal taste. The recipe uses your brandy of choice (often cognac or Armagnac), orange liqueur, and lemon juice.
You will find that the Sidecar is a fantastic brandy sour, particularly if you perfect the drink's balance for each brandy you use.
Recommended Brandy: Martell VS Cognac (80 proof, $26)
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A New Orleans classic, the Vieux Carre is an interesting cocktail with layers of memorable flavors. Cognac combines with rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, Benedictine, and (again) both Angostura and Peychaud's bitters.
The complexity of the Vieux Carre makes it a memorable cocktail and it is yet another drink to show off your best brandies.
Recommended Brandy: Remy Martin VSOP Cognac (80 proof, $36)
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When brandy and Champagne meet inside a glass, the result is pure elegance. Not only is this a timeless drink that will forever be used for celebrations, but the fountain of bubbles from the sugar cube makes a stunning visual effect as well.
It's a simple drink, yet the pairing of a great Champagne and a great brandy is key because there's nothing to hide behind.
Recommended Brandy: Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac (90 proof, $45)
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This is a brandy cocktail with a snappy side. The brandy and maraschino are sweet and sultry which contrast nicely with the pineapple and Peychaud's Bitters.
The Club Cocktail is a nice change from brandy's darker side. Drinks like this also allow you to get away with brandies that are a bit more budget-friendly.
Recommended Brandy: Korbel VSOP Brandy (80 proof, $17)Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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This Corpse Reviver recipe is just one of many drinks that have taken the name since the first notation in 1871. While there is also a gin Corpse Reviver, this is a common brandy recipe that uses apple brandy along with sweet vermouth.
It is a delightful drink and it's another good use for your favorite well brandy.
Recommended Brandy: Paul Masson VSOP Brandy (80 proof, $14)
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We cannot skip one of the best brandy drinks of all time. The Tom & Jerry is a traditional drink served around Christmas and is typically made of brandy, dark rum, egg, simple syrup and warm milk.
If you have an aversion to this style of drink (eggnog, anyone?), I strongly suggest giving this one a try. It may just change your mind.
Recommended Brandy: E&J XO Brandy (80 proof, $15)