A liquor distilled from wine or other fermented fruit juice. The name "brandy" comes from the Dutch brandewijn ("burned (distilled) wine"), referring to the technique of heating the wine during distillation. A number of sub-categories fall under the broad definition of brandy including fruit brandy, grappa, marc, pomace and eau-de-vie (eau-de-vie de vin is French for brandy). Brandies made from apples and grapes are generally aged in wood, which contributes flavor and color. Those made from other fruits are less likely to be aged in this fashion and are typically colorless. The finest brandies traditionally come from cognac followed by those from armagnac both in southwestern France.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.