Brandy: A Global History


by Becky Sue Epstein

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Cognac – an illustrious and elegant amber brandy – is currently one of the most fashionable components of high-end mixed drinks in the world’s hottest bars.

An aromatic spirit made from distilled wine and produced around the globe, brandy has long been associated with refined taste and sophisticated consumption.

Many cultures have played a part in the history of the beverage, from the Dutch who made brandewijn [burnt wine] to the Spanish colonials in Peru and California who produced the first brandies in the New World.

This compact, lavishly illustrated book takes readers on a journey from the alchemists of the Middle Ages to present-day mixology hotspots, chronicling the history of the drink and the beautiful locations in which it is produced.

For those inclined to imbibe, the book offers advice on buying, storing and serving brandy, and features classic and new cocktail recipes for both connoisseurs and first-time drinkers to enjoy.

And the reviews are rolling in:

From …20 Things Ludacris (and Becky Sue Epstein) Taught Me About Cognac

From …Eight New Drink Books on Whiskey, Brandy, Cocktails & History

From …Reviewing Brandy: A Global History

Wine and spirits expert Becky Sue Epstein is an experienced editor, broadcaster and consultant in the fields of wine, spirits, food and travel. Currently based in New England, she holds several positions requiring a substantial amount of (mainly enjoyable) worldwide wine- and spirits-related travel.

In between trips, tastings and events, Epstein writes books. Her award-winning cookbook The American Lighthouse Cookbook (Sourcebooks/Cumberland, co-written with Chef Ed Jackson) came out last year. Her second book is an entirely new update of the classic kitchen reference Substituting Ingredients (Sourcebooks June 2010) which is already in its third printing.

Her book, Champagne:A Global History (Reaktion, September 2011), includes sparkling wines from around the world; available in print and ebook formats.

Brandy: A Global History (Reaktion, September 2014) is her latest book. It chronicles the history of this very popular spirit, traveling from medieval alchemists to present-day drink mixologists and exploring brandy’s production and consumption from the Middle Ages to today.

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