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Brandy is an alcoholic beverage made by distilling fruit, usually grapes, so that the juice attains a higher proof, or concentration of alcohol, than it would have if it were turned into wine. Brandy of all types is popular as an after-dinner drink. Peach brandy is brandy that is made either from peaches alone or from peaches and grapes mixed together and fermented.
Muslims in the 8th century discovered the process of distilling local fruits into brandy. They were actually trying to create medicines when the discovery was made. Later, European traders used the same process to create a concentrated wine that could be shipped back to Europe without losing quality, with the intent of adding water to restore the wine to its original flavor once it reached its destination. In the process, the traders inadvertently found that distilling wine and keeping it in wooden barrels for several months resulted in excellent brandy. Brandy made today is stored for a period of several years, allowing it to gain flavor from the wooden barrels and from the aging process.
Peach brandy is similar to the distilled grape varieties, but commercially made brandies may have peach flavor added after the brandy has aged instead of actually being made with peaches. A few distillers may go to the trouble of actually making peach brandy from peaches instead of grapes, though with a smaller market for the various fruit brandies the process tends to be somewhat streamlined due to cost considerations. For fans of this brandy who would like to improve on what is available commercially, there are a number of recipes for making peach brandy at home.
One recipe for peach brandy calls for peaches, water, sugar, lemons, and yeast. The items are all mixed in a large pot or crock, then left to sit for a week. At that point raisins are stirred in, then the batch is left alone to ferment for several more weeks. At the end of that time the drink will be alcoholic and will have the flavor of peach brandy, though technically it is really more of a wine. Another recipe calls for combining peaches, brandy, and sugar, then letting the mixture sit for a month so the brandy can absorb the peach flavor.
However it is made, peach brandy has its fans. Many people consider it a dessert drink, because of its full, rich flavor and sweetness. For the most part, if a person enjoys a strong flavored drink and likes the taste of sweet wine, he or she is likely also to enjoy peach brandy.
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