Brandy is a liquor distilled from grapes or wine; in fact, its name comes from the term brandewijn, which literally means burned wine. Brandy retains from of its unique properties from the grapes from which it was made, tending to be more mellow.

E&J Brandy goes further. As it is based in Modesto, it sources the best grapes California has to offer, and is aged for a minimum of 2 years in White Oak Bourbon Barrels. It is fruit-forward, which means the grapes are the first thing you taste, while the spice and smokiness as a result of its aging process embalms the tongue, ending with ethanol tickling the nose.

What I love about this brandy is that it’s not punishment to sip on it thanks to its exceptional smoothness (in contrast to Whiskey, which is better suited for seasoned tasters). Paired with a simple Coke Zero, it makes for a deliciously spiced, grapey, and smooth drink.

A closer look at the bottle label.