About Mato​ppie Brandy

Double distilled from Sauvignon blanc grapes, the pot still content is flavoured by French oak chips and Matoppie wood notes, matured to perfection in a small oak barrel. Fine yet complex, it has a distinctive flavour and intense aroma profile to achieve a rich, smooth brandy with a delicate character preferred by brandy connoisseurs.

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Origins of Brandy

Brandy began to be distilled in France circa 1313, but it was prepared only as a medicine and was considered as possessing such marvelous strengthening and sanitary powers that the physicians named it “the water of life,” (l’eau de vie) a name it still retains.   

Brandy is a liquor produced by distilling base wine. Initially, wine was distilled as a preservation method and as a way to make it easier for merchants to transport. It is also thought that wine was originally distilled to lessen the tax which was assessed by volume. The intent was to add the water removed by distillation back to the brandy shortly before consumption. It was discovered that after having been stored in wooden casks, the resulting product had improved over the original distilled spirit. In addition to removing water, the distillation process led to the formation and decomposition of numerous aromatic compounds, fundamentally altering the composition of the distillate from its source. Non-volatile substances such as pigments, sugars, and salts remained behind in the still. As a result, the taste of the distillate was often quite unlike that of the original source. 

Brandy is made from so-called base wine, which significantly differs from regular table wines. It is made from early grapes in order to achieve higher acid concentration and lower sugar levels. Base wine generally contains smaller amounts of sulphur than regular wines, as it creates undesired copper sulfate in reaction with copper in the pot stills. The yeast sediment produced during the fermentation may or may not be kept in the wine, depending on the brandy style. Brandy is distilled from the base wine in two phases. In the first, large part of water and solids is removed from the base, obtaining so-called "low wine", basically a concentrated wine with 28–30% ABV. In the second stage, low wine is distilled into brandy. The liquid exits the pot still in three phases, referred to as the "heads", "heart" and "tails" respectively. The first part, the "head," has an alcohol concentration of about 83% and an unpleasant odour. The weak portion on the end, "tail", is discarded along with the head, and they are generally mixed with another batch of low wine, thereby entering the distillation cycle again. The middle heart fraction, richest in aromas and flavours, is preserved for later maturation.


Distillation does not simply enhance the alcohol content of wine. The heat under which the product is distilled and the material of the still (usually copper) cause chemical reactions to take place during distillation. This leads to the formation of numerous new volatile aroma components, changes in relative amounts of aroma components in the wine, and the hydrolysis of components such as esters. Brandy generally contains 35–60% alcohol by volume and is typically consumed as an after-dinner digestif. Some brandies are aged in wooden casks. Others are coloured with caramel colouring to imitate the effect of aging, and some are produced using a combination of both aging and colouring. Varieties of wine brandy can be found across the winemaking world. Among the most renowned are Cognac and Armagnac from southwestern France.


Brandy is traditionally served at room temperature (neat) from a snifter, a wine glass or a tulip glass. When drunk at room temperature, it is often slightly warmed by holding the glass cupped in the palm or by gentle heating. Excessive heating of brandy may cause the alcohol vapour to become too strong, causing its aroma to become overpowering. Brandy drinkers who like their brandy warmed may ask for the glass to be heated before the brandy is poured.   Brandy may be added to other beverages to make several popular cocktails

The Old Fashioned Brandewyn, is practically South Africa’s official drink. In addition to Matoppie Brandewyn, it calls for muddled fruit and a topper of lemon-lime soda. So, it is not your great-great-grandfather’s Old Fashioned.

• 50 ml Matoppie Brandewyn
• 3 dashes Angostura bitters
• 2 orange slices
• 2 brandied or maraschino cherries
• 1 sugar cube
• 7UP, Sprite or soda, chilled, to top
• Garnish: brandied or maraschino cherry
• Garnish: orange slice

Add the bitters, orange slices, cherries and sugar cube to an Old Fashioned glass and muddle to combine. Add ice to fill the glass, then add the Matoppie Brandewyn. Top with the 7UP, Sprite or soda, and stir to chill. Garnish with a skewered cherry and an orange slice. 

The classic sixties sidecar cocktail is given a Viennese twist with flavours of apple strudel.

• 100 ml Matoppie Brandewyn
• 50 ml Disaronno
• 50 ml madeira wine
• 2 easpoons of golden caster sugar
• 200 ml pressed apple juice
• 1 cinnamon stick
• Juice 1 lemon
• A large handful of ice

Dip the rim of 4 Martini glasses in a saucer of water, then into a saucer or small dish of golden caster sugar. Pop the glasses into the fridge until ready to serve. Warm the apple juice in a small saucepan with the cinnamon stick. Bring to the boil, then turn off the heat and leave to go cold. Once cold, discard the cinnamon stick and pour into a jug. Put the Matoppie Brandewyn, Disaronno, Madeira wine and lemon juice into a cocktail shaker with a large handful of ice. Shake together until the mixture is chilled. Strain into your glasses, top up with the spiced apple juice and serve immediately. 

Sprinkle spiced sugar on this creamy cocktail for a Christmassy after-dinner treat.

• 80 ml Matoppie Brandewyn
• 50 ml crème de cacao
• 50 ml double cream
• To garnish, 1 teaspoon golden caster sugar, 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• Ice

To make the garnish, mix the sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon together and set aside. Pour the Matoppie Brandewyn, crème de cacao and double cream into a cocktail shaker, then add a generous handful of ice. Shake until the outside of the shaker is very cold, then strain into two small coupe or cocktail glasses. Garnish with a sprinkle of the spiced sugar, then serve. 

Embrace balmy summer days with a jug of sangria. With red wine, Matoppie Brandewyn, sparkling water, cinnamon and chopped fruit, it is a lovely sharing cocktail.

• 100 ml Matoppie Brandewyn
• 750 ml bottle light red wine
• 300 ml sparkling water
• oranges , chopped
• 2 pears , chopped
• 2 lemons , 1 chopped, 1 juiced
• 200g red berries , chopped (we used strawberries and cherries)
• 3 teaspoons caster sugar
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• ice

Put the chopped fruit in a bowl and sprinkle over the sugar and cinnamon, then stir to coat. Cover and leave to macerate in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or ideally overnight. Fill a large jug with ice. Stir the macerated fruit mixture to ensure the sugar is dissolved, then tip into the jug with the wine and Matoppie Brandewyn. Stir, then top up with the sparkling water and serve. 

Treat yourself to the classic cocktail brandy sour. With lemon juice and egg white, it is silky smooth and delicious. Serve with a slice of lemon and cherry.


• 50ml Matoppie Brandewyn
• 25ml Lemon juice, plus 1 lemon slice to serve
• 1 Maraschino cherry, plus 15ml syrup from the jar
• A few drops of Angostura bitters
• ½ egg white
• Ice

Tip the lemon juice, cherry syrup, bitters, egg white and Matoppie Brandewyn into a cocktail shaker with a large handful of ice. Shake until the outside of the shaker feels very cold. Double strain into a tumbler filled with ice. Thread the lemon slice and cherry onto a cocktail stick, rest across the rim of the tumbler and serve. 

Try your hand at recreating a classic 1920s cocktail, the sidecar. It's easy to adapt – simply use Matoppie Brandewyn, and equal parts triple sec and lemon juice.

• 50 ml Matoppie Brandewyn
• 25 ml triple sec
• 25 ml lemon juice
• Handful of ice
• To serve with a dash of Angostura bitters (optional)

Put a coupe glass in the fridge to chill. Tip all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Shake well, until the outside of the shaker feels cold, then strain the cocktail into the chilled glass. If the lemon juice is too sharp, add the bitters to taste.