|Consejo Regulador de las Denominaciones de Origen "Jerez-Xérès-Sherry" - "Manzanilla-Sanlúcar de Barrameda" - "Vinagre de Jerez"|
Brandy de Jerez is a tremendously versatile drink which can be enjoyed in many ways. It's noble origin and traditional ageing process confer on it special organoleptic characteristics which are expressed in subtly different ways by each of the bodegas which belong to the Denomination.
There is naturally a traditional way of enjoying a drink with such a long history; simply poured into a glass the brandy shows all its splendour, its extraordinary colour and tones, its fragrant and evocative aromas and its warm flavour, profound and full of nuances.
But Brandy de Jerez is also a modern drink and can offer every bit as much pleasure in a huge variety of ways. Its enormous personality shines through in mixed drinks and enriches all sorts of cocktail, not to mention the fascinating matches it can make with certain dishes giving it an enormously interesting place in gastronomy.
Thus there are many ideal moments for a Brandy de Jerez and many ways to enjoy it, and in the following section we offer you some recommendations for each one.
It's noble origin and traditional ageing process confer on it special organoleptic characteristics which are expressed in subtly different ways by each of the bodegas which belong to the Denomination.-
The traditional glass for drinking Brandy de Jerez is the characteristic “balloon glass” with a large bowl slightly nipped in at the top and a short stem. Its bulbous shape looks as if it were designed so that the hand could embrace the glass and its contents. It is important to avoid glasses which are too small or too big and so we recommend a glass with a capacity of between 500cl and 750cl which should never be filled beyond one-fifth of its capacity. This allows one to swirl the brandy round the walls of the glass which should be of the finest quality and transparency. Traditionally the glass should be filled to such a level that if laid on its side the brandy would not spill.
This type of glass gives the brandy a large surface area allowing the intense aromas, especially the most volatile components such as alcohol itself, to be released by the warmth of the consumer’s caressing hand.
If the consumer wishes to drink the brandy at a lower temperature and appreciate the distinct aromatic nuances in a subtler way, the ideal glass would have a longer stem allowing the hand to be farther away from the bowl. This glass should have a longer, slimmer shape (like a wine tasting glass) with a gentle tulip shape at the top.
Naturally the enjoyment of Brandy de Jerez is, in the end, up to the consumer’s personal preference. Using the traditional balloon glass with a shape suitable for hand contact gives a suitable temperature to the brandy of some 20 degrees. However we would certainly advise against the old custom of using little glass-heating devices with a flame, or heating the glass before pouring. This upsets the aromatic balance of the brandy by allowing the most volatile components to evaporate and intensifies the sensation of alcohol.
We recommend that Brandy de Jerez should always be served between 10 degrees and a maximum of fifteen degrees centigrade (50-59 Fahrenheit) for the maximum enjoyment of all its aromatic and flavour nuances in perfect harmony. At a temperature of about 12 degrees and helped by gentle movement of the glass the brandy will display all its aromas from the most volatile to the most subtle. With a small sip in the mouth it will gently warm up giving a warm feeling – but not burning – and an expression of great intensity of flavour which will linger on in the aftertaste.
Brandy de Jerez has intense aromas and flavours which will survive, although diluted when served over ice. Much pleasure can be had from brandy in a balloon glass or a tumbler with good solid ice cubes which melt more slowly, keeping the brandy cool and prolonging the enjoyment of the drink.
Growing numbers of people are enjoying Brandy de Jerez at very low temperatures – almost freezing in fact. The bottle should be kept in the freezer – the alcohol level will prevent the brandy from freezing - and the brandy should be served directly from the freezer in little shot glasses (or “chupitos” in Spanish). The Brandy de Jerez served this way becomes a modern and lighthearted digestif.
We recommend that Brandy de Jerez should always be served between 10 degrees and a maximum of 15 degrees centigrade (50-59 Fahrenheit)-
Gastronomy is changing, and with this change, one after another, the old rules insisting on specific accompaniments to specific dishes are disappearing. We have moved on from the old “red wine for meat and white wine for fish” dogma to a much freer and more rewarding panorama in which many other drinks, like Sherry and a host of others, are claiming their rightful place at the table. The possibilities become especially interesting with the spirit which is made from wine: brandy.
Ever more chefs are offering culinary creations which achieve their maximum gastronomic expression in the company of Brandy de Jerez, and are taking advantage of the possibilities offered by its large range of styles, be they different periods of ageing or the type of Sherry which had seasoned the barrels in which the brandy was aged. Here are just two suggested food matches, as simple as they are marvellously harmonious:
chefs are offering culinary creations which achieve their maximum gastronomic expression in the company of Brandy de Jerez-
From classic recipes to the very latest creations, Brandy de Jerez is an ingredient of incalculable value for “mixologists” all over the world. Its intense character and personality along with the huge number of brands and their enormously varied range of nuances provide the perfect base for all sorts of cocktails, long drinks, aperitifs, digestifs etc.
Mixed drinks are a very popular way to drink Brandy de Jerez, by simply adding a soft mixer drink such as cola, ginger ale, fruit juice or tonic water. Whichever is the preferred soft drink, the quality and personality of the Brandy de Jerez will provide the ideal counterpoint, along with some ice, for the very best mixed drinks.
Of course, we must not omit to mention in this section one of the most classic, traditional and creative ways to enjoy Brandy de Jerez: the popular “carajillo” in which brandy is mixed with a good black coffee and served either hot or cold over ice. It is delicious and gives a surprisingly good feeling (the word originates from the Spanish word for courage “coraje”).
Finally, Brandy de Jerez is also frequently used in the kitchen: and not only for the traditional flambé but also as an ingredient in recipes of all kinds giving dishes that “touch of magic” which lifts them to greater levels of excellence. There follow a few examples taken not only from traditional recipes but also from the very vanguard of cuisine.
There can be few greater pleasures for the smoker of fine cigars than to accompany a favourite cigar with a glass of Brandy de Jerez. Here, various different and interesting matches can be made with the different styles of Brandy de Jerez - more or less dry, or aged in barrels with different types of Sherry seasoning - with different types of cigar depending on the origin of the tobacco and the brand and type of cigar.