Our selections of the best spirits
The brandy has its origin in the mystical alchemists of the Middle Ages and, since then, it has become a very popular liquor, to which even songs have been dedicated. It is a drink that can be enjoyed on its own and also serves as a base for making a wide variety of liqueurs. In this article, we present a selection of the best spirits, so you can choose the one you like the most.
1. Ruavieja Aguardiente de Orujo
Ruavieja is considered by many users as the best brand of spirits in the Spanish market.
Owned by the Rodríguez Orvalle family for several generations, it continues to produce typical spirits and liqueurs, such as Orujo, following traditional and original methods from the north of Spain.
To make the Orujo Ruavieja brandy, a selection of Galician pomace is distilled, coming from the most important wine-producing areas of Galicia, such as Rías Baixas or Ribera Sacra. It has a very intense herbal aroma, they are fresh, dry and slightly sweet.
It is a perfect liqueur to reduce copious meals and to accompany coffee. To serve it perfectly, it is best to chill the bottle first and then serve in a chilled glass or a wide glass with ice.
2. Aguardiente Antioqueño Aniseed spirit drink
If you are wondering which is the best brandy, the one that comes out of the Antioquia Liquor and Alcohol Factory could be the answer.
This was the first liquor store and producer of alcoholic beverages in Colombia and its aguardiente is one of the most representative beverages in the country.
This brandy ranks 26th best drinks according to The World Fastest International Spirit Brands and its spirit is deeply rooted in Colombian culture.
It is a sugar-free brandy, with a lot of character and a transparent and very clean color, with 29 degrees of alcohol, it is a drink with a lot of personality.
It can be drunk neat, with a little lemon, with ice or served very cold. In addition, it can be used to make cocktails, since it has a neutral and dry flavor, which allows you to make delicious cocktails, mixing it with fruit juices and other carbonated drinks.
3. The Sharpener Traditional Spirit Drink
The Traditional sharpener is a classic cut brandy, with a dry flavor and without sugar. It is a drink with decades of experience, which has positioned itself as an emblematic product, since El sharpador was one of the first brands that produced aguardiente in Spain.
It is made with the best ingredients of agricultural origin, without chemical additives and following traditional methods, which is why many consider it to be the best price-quality spirit.
The result is a very clean, transparent and full-bodied brandy or pomace. With a strong aroma reminiscent of grapes and must, but with an alcoholic touch. In the mouth it is also hard, with toasted and herbaceous sensations, and a complex and persistent aftertaste.
It is perfect to drink neat, with a little lemon or in a wide glass with ice. It is an ideal companion for coffee and as a final touch to copious or heavy meals, since this type of liquor helps with digestion.
4. Axunqueira Pomace Brandy
If you are wondering what brandy to buy to make liqueurs at home, Orujo Axunqueira could be the answer.
Made by Belmonte Distilleries, one of the oldest in the region, this liqueur has exceptional clarity and a neutral, dry flavor that makes it a perfect base for making homemade coffee, fruit or herbal pomace liqueur.
It is made by hand, by fermentation in nature, in which the fermented skins of white grapes are used and gives it a characteristic grape aroma and a dry, smooth and balanced flavor.
It has a graduation of 42 degrees, making it perfect for making homemade liqueurs.
It can also be enjoyed neat, in a wide glass and it will be an ideal drink to accompany coffee and as a final touch to a heavy meal.
5. Abadia Da Ulla Aguardiente de Orujo Galician
Abadía da Ulla pomace brandy is a traditional product that respects the production methods of this liquor. So much so that it meets the demanding requirements of the certified designation of origin that regulates this drink.
We are talking about a liqueur made with the best Bagasse spirits, properly balanced and with a traditional approach. The result is a shiny, transparent drink with silvery edges. On the palate it is smooth and slightly sweet, with a few hints of dried fruit, rose flavors and a tasty and pleasant texture.
Regarding its alcoholic strength, this is 40%, in line with the more traditional pomace. Something that makes it ideal to consume as a digestif after a good meal, always served at temperatures of 8 to 10 degrees.
6. Xantiamén Liqueur Aguardiente de orujo
The Xantiamén liqueur, from the Cadiz Osborne wineries, is considered by some users to be the best brandy of the moment.
Thanks to its special formulation, in which selected pomace and wine bagasse are combined, a very different brandy is achieved, with a fuller flavor and higher quality.
Together with the pomace mixtures, natural herbs from the area such as anise, mint, cloves and cinnamon are macerated to obtain a golden-colored brandy with strong greenish reflections and a very intense aroma where the typical notes intermingle. alcoholic beverages of the brandy, with the herbal ones of mint and anise. In the mouth, it is a soft and pleasant drink, very round and sweet.
It has 30% alcohol, so it should not be stored in the freezer, as it could freeze.
It can be served cold and with ice, and it is perfect to accompany coffee, desserts and as the final touch of a copious meal, as it is a liquor that reduces food and helps digestion.
7. Martin Codax Aguardiente
Martín Códax brandy is made from Albariño grape pomace. After pressing the grape bagasse, distillation begins, which is carried out using the traditional method of dragging steam at a slow and constant rate, which allows all the aromatic components of this drink to emerge.
This brandy, which bears the name of the most famous Galician troubadour of the Middle Ages, has a transparent and bright color, with a slight thickness that leaves “tears” in the glass.
Thanks to its traditional distillation process, it allows you to enjoy fruity and herbaceous aromas and an intense flavor, similar to that of Albariño wines.
It could be one of the best spirits of 2022, especially enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or served in a chilled glass. It is a perfect liqueur to drink after meals, as it improves digestion.
8. Panizo Monovarietal Spirits of Orujo Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon is a grape of French origin, highly appreciated for being one of the most aromatic. The name comes from “sauvage” and “vignon”, which in Spanish could be translated as: “wild vineyard”.
This could be the best pomace to give to a lover of this type of liquor, not only because of its unique quality and flavor, but also because of its wonderful presentation, since the bottle is very showy.
This brandy has a bright white color, with steely reflections. On the nose it has aromas of exotic fruit and fresh vegetable touches.
On the palate it is very intense, although it is not strong, the notes of fruit and a pleasant finish stand out, with a lot of personality.
It is a perfect drink to drink alone, with a slice of lemon or, if you prefer, with ice or served in a chilled glass. Having a light and balanced taste, it is also perfect for making fresh cocktails.
9. Jerte Valley Kirsch brandy
Although it is not one of the best-known spirits, Kirsch is a product made and distilled from cherries. And if it is a question of looking for the region of Spain best known for the cultivation of this fruit, without a doubt we have to talk about the Jerte Valley.
From the fusion of these two elements, this Kirsch brandy appears, which is based on the tasty cherries of the region. The liquor is made using an artisanal distillation system, which applies indirect heat. This is where the alcohol from the fermentation is obtained, using only high-quality cherry cherries as a base. Something that makes the difference compared to other cheaper and less tasty versions.
The result is a base liquor that ages for a year and is later diluted with spring water from the Sierra de Gredos, in order to adjust the alcoholic level to what is necessary, 42 degrees in this case.
10. Liquor Orujo HR 100% Galician
Hijos de Rivera is a company with more than 100 years of experience in the manufacture of liquors. Hijos de Rivera pomace brandy has a unique flavor and quality far above other cheaper brandies.
The bottle has a classic design, perfect for lovers of this type of drink and for those who appreciate the traditional, making it a perfect gift for collectors.
This pomace brandy is made following traditional methods and in an artisanal way in the wineries of Galicia.
It is distilled with great patience, drop by drop, to extract all the aromas and flavors of the different pomace. The result is a very clear drink, with hints of silver and a good body. On the palate it is very fragrant, with aniseed aromas of herbs and white fruits.
It is a very fine liquor, delicate and rich in nuances, which can be enjoyed neat, served in a wide glass or with ice. It is also a good ingredient to make cocktails and mixed drinks.
Origin and use
To continue with this comparison of spirits, we are going to explain the origin of this drink, as well as the different uses, its nutritional value and the best way to preserve the bottles once opened, so that the spirit does not lose an iota of its its flavor and its properties.
Before starting with the interesting history of brandy, let’s see what exactly it is. First of all, it should be explained that “aguardientes” is a word that is used to denominate, in a general way, all high-proof alcoholic beverages and refers to all alcoholic beverages obtained by distillation.
The liquor usually bears the name of “orujo liquor”. This is because the liquor as a drink is obtained from the distillation of the pomace. Orujos are the waste from winemaking (the skins, seeds and skins of the grape), these waste contain alcohol, so they are mixed with water and distilled, obtaining the drink known in Spanish as aguardiente.
Distillation has its origin in the discovery of the alembic, which was used since ancient times by the Arabs to make perfumes and medicines. The oldest documents in which stills appear date from the 3rd century. One of the most popular products made with stills was Kohol, an eye paint that was used for aesthetic purposes in Arabia and India, but also served to alleviate certain skin diseases, as well as sunburn. on the eyelids. Kohol arrived in Europe and was introduced into the culture, being the basis of our word “eye drops”.
Between 1281 and 1285, Ramón Llull and Arnau de Vilanova, two philosophers, doctors and alchemists from the Kingdom of Aragon, used an alembic for the first time to distill alcohol. They decided to put a pitcher of wine, to try to extract its spirit. The result was a transparent and aromatic liquid that, when drunk, “warmed the stomach and the head”, to which they gave the name of Water of Life. In addition, they verified that this clean water, when approaching the fire, burned easily, so they changed its name to Burning Water.
For many centuries, the production of brandy was controlled by the church, through the monasteries. In the absence of scientific means, distillation was an empirical process, discovering the hard way that the first and last glasses were harmful to health, being able to blind or even kill the person who consumed it. This would be called “heads and tails” and even today the first and last liters of each distillation are discarded, as they are harmful.
The production of brandy spread throughout Europe and, in each region, took a different name. For example, upon arrival in Scotland, the process was called uisge-beatha, from which the word whiskey comes.
The process of making aguardiente was professionalized and improved in the 18th century, thanks to the invention of the thermometer by the Dutchman Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit, which made it possible to supervise and regulate the production and distillation of this drink.
We continue this guide to buy the best brandy with a series of cocktails and mixed drinks that allow you to enjoy this unique drink in fun and different ways.
The first one we find is the Aguardiente Sour, a mixture of dry brandy with lemon, sugar syrup and an egg white. It should be served with a lot of ice and very cool, it is the ideal companion for a hot summer night.
The next cocktail, similar to the previous one, is the Daisy María, which is prepared with dry white brandy, half a lemon and lemon soda. The ingredients must be mixed in a cocktail shaker with ice and served in a wide glass and very cool.
El Canelazo is a cocktail made with brandy and cinnamon. The result is a kind of “cinnamon water” and to make it, you have to add cinnamon to the brandy and heat it in a water bath. The result should be served very hot and in clay pots or cups. It is advisable to add a little lemon and sugar to the mixture, to fully enjoy its flavor.
The brandy, even the cheapest, can be kept for up to a year, once it has been opened. If the bottle remains closed, it can be kept for up to two years, without damaging its flavour, aroma and properties.
For its conservation, it is advisable to keep the bottle well covered and in a cool place, which maintains a constant temperature, always below 18 degrees and as stable as possible.
The brandy is a low-calorie drink, only 237 Kcal per 100 grams. The brandy is low in sodium and contains calcium, phosphorus and vitamin K.
There are also some spirits that do not contain sugar, although this will depend on the ingredients and preparation, which will affect how much the bottle costs. It is an ideal drink to take after meals, as it facilitates digestion.
Aguardiente is a beverage with an alcohol concentration of over 40%, so it must be consumed responsibly and you should never drive after having consumed it.