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January 05, 2008

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I live in Wisconsin, which has the highest per capita brandy consumption in the US, but I'm afraid that people's taste in brandies in my neck of the Northwoods are fairly plebian.

You definitely don't want to waste a good Cognac in a mixed drink. I use Christian Bros. VSOP for standard cocktails, and Marie Brizard Blackberry Brandy in tropical libations. I have no complaints.

Also, if you're looking for a very unique brandy-drinking experience, pick up a bottle of Chilean Pisco grape brandy in the Easter Island statue decanter.

http://www.mrbalihai.com/goof/2007/03/cocktail_of_the_jaguar_gods.html

You should choose brandy as you would any other spirit. I keep a big bottle of Masson for workhorse (and party) (and cooking) purposes, just as I do Maker's Mark. But some cocktails (and smaller quantities of them) really do call for a finer brandy or cognac. Start with the cocktail you have in mind and buy the brandy that seems right for it.

Which reminds me, I do need to buy some more cognac....

The idea of "workhorse" brandy, logical as it sounds in context, still makes me laugh a little bit.

pisco, yes. chilean? hell, no.

pisco comes from peru. the peruvian customs form tells you so. pisco made outside peru is forbidden!

personally, i'd recommend anything made by biondi, followed by ocucaje. if a pisco sour is what you want, choose the acholado.

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