How to Properly Serve & Drink Brandy

How to Properly Serve & Drink Brandy

Brandy is a type of liquor that can be enjoyed in many ways. It has a distinct flavour that makes it enjoyable for some and an acquired taste for others. Whether you are drinking brandy as an after-dinner drink or sipping it neat, there are certain steps to follow when serving and drinking this spirit. With the right technique, you can get the most out of your brandy experience with every sip!

Knowing how to properly serve and drink brandy will help ensure that each glass is savoured to its fullest potential, so let’s talk about it here - how to properly serve and drink brandy.

What is Brandy?

Brandy is a type of distilled spirit made from fermented grapes or other fruits. It's an ancient drink with a long history, going all the way back to the 13th century. As such, it has become one of the most popular spirits around the world and is enjoyed in many different ways.

When it comes to serving brandy, the most important thing is that it is served at the right temperature. Brandy should be served chilled (not too cold) so that all the flavours can be appreciated. You can also get creative with your presentation by pouring it into a decanter, adding fresh fruit or herbs to the glass, or using a fancy ice cube.

Overall, brandy can be enjoyed in many different ways depending on your preference. It's an incredibly versatile spirit that can be savoured neat or on the rocks.

How to Drink Brandy

For those looking to add some complexity to their drinking experience, there are many ways to enjoy brandy cocktails. Whether you prefer sipping it straight up or mixing it with other ingredients, here's how to drink brandy like a pro.


For those looking for an intense experience, drinking brandy neat is definitely the way to go. All you need is a tulip-shaped glass, pour the brandy in and savour the flavour.

On the rocks

If you prefer your brandy with a bit of dilution, try serving it on the rocks - simply pour over small cubes of ice or an ice ball and sip away.

In cocktails

For those looking for something more exciting, why not try out some brandy-based cocktails? Adding a few other ingredients such as citrus juices, liqueurs, and syrups can create unique concoctions that will impress your friends.

Best Way to Serve Brandy

Brandy can be served in various ways, depending on the occasion and personal preference. Whether you are having friends over for an intimate evening or hosting a fancy dinner party, here are some key tips to remember when serving brandy that will ensure your guests enjoy the experience from start to finish.

Pour immediately

The first step when serving brandy is to pour it immediately – brandy breathes better when poured. So, don’t wait around - get that glass filled with your favourite brandy right after opening.

Choose the right brandy glass

Next, you’ll want to choose the right brandy glass. Brandy should be served in a snifter, balloon glass, tulip glass or coupe. Different glasses are designed to enhance the aroma and flavour of your brandy.

Fill glass at an angle

When pouring brandy into the glass, hold it at an angle. This will help aerate and release the brandy’s subtle aromas and flavours.

Why Drinking and Serving Brandy Perfectly Will Make it Taste Better

When it comes to the art of drinking and serving brandy, there's more to it than just throwing back a glass. If you want to get the most out of your brandy experience, then you'll need to pay attention to how you serve and drink this exquisite spirit. So, to sum up:

When drinking brandy, it's important to take your time and savour the flavour. Don't be in a rush to down your drink – let the brandy linger on your tongue and enjoy the sweet, smooth taste. And don't forget to pour yourself a proper glass size! A good pour will help you appreciate just how potent this spirit is, so don't skimp.

When it comes to serving brandy, you want to make sure that your glass and decanter are crystal clear. Opt for an elegant and timeless vessel such as a snifter or tulip glass, which helps maintain the temperature of your brandy for an optimal drinking experience. As for the decanter, make sure it's clean and free of dust – no one wants to sip a brandy that's been gathering lint.

It should also go without saying that you'll want to serve your guests the highest quality brandy you can find. If possible, seek out vintage bottles or rare brands – they will taste even more exquisite.

So, to ensure that your brandy experience is as perfect as can be, make sure you master the art of drinking and serving this elegant spirit. With these simple tips, you'll be able to savour every sip.

And when you’re ready, shop Norman Goodfellows online for a range of delicious brandies and cognacs to suit your palate and pocket.


How do South Africans drink brandy?

When it comes to South Africans and brandy, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. Some like to enjoy a glass neat and savour the flavour of the brandy itself. Others may choose to mix it with ginger ale or cola for an easy-going drink that packs a punch. And then there are those who opt for a classic brandy and Coke or something more creative, like a brandy Slush Puppy. No matter which way you choose to take your brandy, South Africans can agree that it's always enjoyed with friends, laughter and good memories.

What do you normally mix brandy with?

If you're looking for something to mix with brandy, why not take a dive down the rabbit hole? Depending on what kind of mood you're in, there's sure to be an answer. If you want a classic combination, try mixing your brandy with Coke or ginger ale for a refreshing spin on the drink. For a sweeter option, you can add a dash of orange juice or apple cider for an easy cocktail. If you're feeling adventurous, try ginger beer and lime for a twist on the traditional Brandy & Ginger. The possibilities are endless.

What does VSOP mean on brandy?

VSOP stands for “Very Superior Old Pale,” and it is a term that was originally used in the late 19th century as an indication of quality and age. VSOP indicates that a specific brandy has been aged for a minimum of four years in oak barrels, and this ageing gives it its characteristic flavour. While VSOP brandy is not necessarily the oldest or most expensive on the market, it is still of higher quality than other types of brandy available.