Cognac vs Brandy; a liqueur lesson

There is an abundance of spirits that are made locally here in Lebanon that have become very famous and a staple in some people’s houses. Besides the Lebanese wineries (since they make the best wine for Lebanese food), there are also some other drinks to be enjoyed after relishing in your meal.  

As a digestive, it’s good for you to go for a nice whiskey, a neat Cognac or a marvelous Brandy.   

Cognac and Brandy are often mistaken for one another. This is mainly because they look the same, they’re both made from distilling wine and because it’s often repeated that “every cognac is a brandy, but not all brandy is a cognac” which leaves people wondering what that means exactly. That’s where the confusion settles in but here’s a short spirits session that could benefit everyone.



For starters, Brandy, put very simply, is a distilled spirit made from fermented fruit juice; whether it be grapes, apples, pears- that’s Brandy for you. You may be wondering how it differs from wine when it’s done with grapes- the answer is quite simple; it’s all in the distillation process. The latter concentrates the wine which in turn increases the alcohol content in the beverage all while removing some or most of the water present in the grape!

Brandy is most preferred and better enjoyed when aged in wooden barrels just like our own Katy from Batroun does it for 10 years in French oak! This makes for a smoother, softer and sweeter drink as you still get hints of fruitiness and tartness.

Now onto Cognac- it is a specific type of Brandy. It is probably the most well-known and esteemed type of Brandy. Just like its name suggests, it is only specifically made in the Cognac region in France. However, its place of origin is not the only characteristic that makes it what it is. In fact, it must follow strict rules such as the fact that it can only be distilled from white grapes; it has to be distilled twice between October 1 and March 31 according to French law and aged for a minimum of two years.

And there you go… that’s the difference between Cognac and Brandy.
June 04, 2022