'brandy' on Serious Eats

Cognac's On the Rise in the Cocktail World

Only a short time ago, the notion of Scotch cocktails seemed a bit absurd to many drinkers—isn't Scotch supposed to be served neat? But as bartenders became acquainted with more affordable blended Scotches marketed for mixing, Scotch cocktails started popping up at bars across the country. Cognac is, in many ways, a similar case: a generally pricey spirit whose higher-end bottles are indeed best enjoyed straight, but whose more affordable brethren can shine when mixed. As we're seeing mixology-focused cognacs hit the market, perhaps the cognac cocktail is on the verge of a comeback. More

10 Must-Try Piscos

Some compare the South American spirit to grappa, because both are distilled from grapes. Others relate it to tequila, as it often has similar herbal, earthy flavors. The truth is, comparisons to other liquors often fall flat because pisco has its own unique personality. We tasted through 25 different piscos, exploring what makes the category so wild and wonderful. Here are our 10 favorites. More

The Serious Eats Guide to Cognac

Cognac. To many, it's the ultimate in brandy. Now, you may ask why? Does it taste better? is it the expense? The time to make it? The grapes? The history? I'd say it's all of those things, and more. But what is cognac? How's it made, and what makes it special? More

The Serious Eats Guide to Brandy

When I mention brandy, you probably have an image already in your head. An older gentleman, sitting quietly in a leather armchair, perhaps smoking a pipe while listening to Brahms, swirling a snifter of brandy around in his hand. We think of brandy as an Old World after-dinner drink. And I have to say, it serves that purpose beautifully. But if you limit it to that, you're missing out on a lot. More

Hot Buttered Chai

As with any variation on hot buttered rum, this drink is about execution. Using a simple batter made of creamed butter and brown sugar makes sure you get the flavor of the butter without the dreaded oil slick on the top of your cocktail. More

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