- A distilled spirit made from fermented fruit, commonly grapes, apples, or pears. The base of a brandy is, in almost all cases, a wine. Brandy may also be called eau-de-vie (a French phrase meaning “water of life”), especially when referring to brandy made from fruit other than grapes. Popular varieties of brandy include Cognac (France), Armagnac (France), calvados (France), applejack (United States), pear brandy (various countries), grappa (Italy), pisco (Peru, Chile), kirschwasser (Germany), and slivovitz (Eastern Europe).
Derived from the Dutch “brandewijn,” meaning “burned wine.”