( Originally Published Early 1900's )
Brandy is, therefore, in its pure state the choicest and most agreeable of the class of ardent spirits. The best brandy is made from the white wines of Cognac and Armagnac districts of France ; but as 1000 gallons of wine makes only 100 to 150 gallons of brandy, it may be imagined that some inferior wines are generally substituted for delicate and highly flavored wines. In point of fact, however, the greater part of the brandy consumed all over the world is not made from wine at all, but is simply alcohol distilled and flavored with oil of Cognac. Fiery potato spirits are also frequently converted into so-called brandy by "distillation and flavoring." Among the adulterations of brandy, hot and pungent substances, such as pepper, capsicum, ginger, etc., are added to give the appearance of strength. They may be detected by evaporating a little of the suspected brandy nearly to dryness, when the acrid and burning taste will be sensibly increased if such substances have been used.
The liquors manufactured in this country and known as apple brandy, peach brandy, blackberry brandy, and the like, are not brandies at all but a radically different spirit.