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Alcoholic beverage distilled from wine or a fermented fruit mash. The name comes from the Dutch brandewijn, distilled wine. Most brandies are aged and contain about 50% alcohol by volume. Some are darkened with caramel. They are usually served alone as after-dinner drinks but are sometimes used in mixed drinks or dessert dishes or as fuel in flamed dishes such as crêpes suzettes and cherries jubilee. They are also used as the base of various liqueurs. The finest brandy is usually thought to be French cognac.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on brandy, visit Britannica.com.