Cognac pronounced KONEYAK—The term used by the French for brandy.
BRANDY is the name given in this country to ardent spirits distilled from wine, and possessed of a peculiar taste and flavor. The most celebrated of the French brandies are those of Cognac and Saintonge, but comparatively little of that sold under the name of Cognac comes from that district. The brandies of Bordeaux and Rochelle are reckoned next in quality, but a still more inferior kind is obtained from the red wines of Portugal, Spain, etc., as also from the refuse (mare) of the grapes left in the wine press, the scrapings of wine-casks, vats, etc. When originally distilled, brandy is clear and colorless, and if wished to remain so, is received and kept in glass vessels; but when placed in wooden casks, the spirit dissolves out the coloring matter of the wood and acquires a light sherry tint: this is called pale brandy, when the color is deepened by burnt sugar(caramel) and other coloring matter it is known as dark brandy.
Pure brandy is composed of the following ingredients, namely: alcohol, sugar, water, volatile oil, acetic acid, acetic ether, oenanthic acid, oenanthic ether, tannic acid and aldehyd. Of these, it is unnecessary to speak particularly of sugar and water.