How To Make Brandy From Vodka

How To Make Brandy From Vodka

Have you ever wondered if it's possible to transform your favorite vodka into a smooth and robust brandy? Well, it is, and we're about to show you how! In this guide, we're going to delve into the process of making brandy from vodka and by the end, you'll be equipped with all the knowledge to give it a go yourself. So, raise your glasses and join us on this flavorful adventure that will impress your friends and expand your spirits knowledge.

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Understanding Vodka and Brandy

Before we dive into the process, let's take a quick look at the difference between vodka and brandy. While both are distilled spirits, they are made from different raw materials and have distinct flavor profiles.


  • Typically distilled from grains, potatoes, or sugar
  • Flavor is generally neutral and clean, making it a popular choice for cocktails
  • Usually has a higher alcohol content than brandy (40% or more)


  • Made from the distillation of wine or fermented fruit juice
  • Flavor is fruity with hints of oak, spice, and caramel from the aging process
  • Has a lower alcohol content than vodka (typically between 35% to 60%)

Now that we understand the key differences, let's move on to the process of making brandy from vodka.

Step 1: Making a Brandy Base

The first step in making brandy from vodka is to create a "brandy base" - a flavorful, fruity mixture that will later be distilled.


  • 1 liter of vodka
  • 1 kg of fruit (such as grapes, apples, or plums)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of sugar


  1. Wash and cut the fruit into small pieces, removing seeds and stems if necessary.
  2. In a large pot, combine the fruit with water and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the fruit is soft.
  3. Allow the mixture to cool, then strain it through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove any solid fruit pieces. Keep the juice, as it will be your brandy base.
  4. Add the vodka to the brandy base and mix well.

Step 2: Distilling the Brandy Base

Once you have your brandy base, it's time to distill it! This process involves heating the mixture to separate the ethanol (alcohol) from the water and other undesirable compounds.


  • A stovetop or outdoor burner
  • A copper or stainless steel still with a condenser and collection vessel


  1. Carefully pour the brandy base into the still's pot, ensuring not to overfill it.
  2. Slowly heat the still to reach a temperature range of 175°F to 195°F (80°C to 90°C). This is the temperature at which ethanol will begin to evaporate.
  3. Maintain this temperature range and carefully monitor the distillation process. Ethanol vapors will travel through the condenser and be collected as liquid in the collection vessel. Remember to discard the first 50 ml of collected liquid, as it may contain harmful compounds known as "foreshots."
  4. Once the collected liquid reaches around 140°F (60°C), stop the distillation process. This collected liquid is your raw brandy.

Step 3: Aging the Raw Brandy

Brandy gets its distinct flavor from the aging process. To complete the transformation of vodka into brandy, you'll need to age the raw brandy in oak barrels or use oak chips.

Equipmnet & Ingredients:

  • Oak barrel (preferably charred) or oak chips
  • Raw brandy



  1. If using an oak barrel, ensure it's clean and properly sealed. Pour the raw brandy into the barrel, tightly seal it, and store it in a cool, dark place.
  2. If using oak chips, place the chips in a glass container and pour the raw brandy over them. Seal the container and store it in a cool, dark place.
  3. Allow the brandy to age for at least 1-2 months (or even longer for a more developed flavor).
  4. Taste your brandy periodically and bottle it once you're happy with its taste.

How To Make Brandy From Vodka Example:

Suppose you decide to make brandy from vodka using apples as your fruit of choice. After creating your brandy base from mashed apples and distilling the liquid, you store the raw brandy in a charred oak barrel for 3 months. Once the aging process is complete, your vodka has been transformed into a smooth and aged apple brandy, ready to be savored in your favorite cocktails or neat.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to make brandy from vodka?

Yes, it is possible to flavor vodka to mimic the taste profile of brandy. It typically involves infusing vodka with fruits, spices, caramel, and oak essence to replicate the traditional flavor and aroma of brandy, which is generally aged in wooden casks.

What is brandy traditionally made from?

Brandy is traditionally made by distilling wine, which is fermented from grapes. However, it can also be produced from other fruits such as apples, pears, and cherries.

What quality of vodka should I use to make brandy?

For the best results, use a high-quality, neutral-flavored vodka as it provides a clean canvas for the brandy flavors. Avoid flavored or poor-quality vodka as it can affect the final taste.

Do I need special equipment to flavor vodka into brandy?

No specialized distillation equipment is needed for flavoring vodka into brandy, but you may need containers for infusions, filtering materials such as cheesecloth, and airtight storage bottles.

How long should I age my homemade brandy?

While traditional brandy is aged for years in wooden casks, homemade flavored vodka-brandy can be infused to taste, often ranging from a few days to several weeks depending on your preference.

Can I use wood chips to simulate the aging process?

Yes, using wood chips or oak staves can impart the flavors typically achieved through aging in wooden barrels. They can be added to the vodka during the infusion process for a certain period to enhance the flavor.

What kind of fruits can I use for making vodka-based brandy?

Common fruits used include grapes, apples, pears, and cherries. The choice will depend on the flavor profile you're aiming to achieve, as each fruit contributes a different note to the final product.

Is caramel necessary in making vodka-based brandy?

Caramel is often used to add color and a hint of sweetness to the vodka, making it appear and taste more like traditional brandy. However, it is optional depending on your taste preference.

Are there any legal concerns with flavoring vodka at home?

Flavoring vodka at home for personal use is generally legal, but it's important to check specific local laws regarding the production of alcoholic beverages. Distilling alcohol without a license is illegal in many places.

How do I filter my homemade brandy after infusing it?

Filtering can be done by pouring the infused vodka through a coffee filter, cheesecloth, or a fine mesh strainer to remove solid particles before bottling.

Can I use existing brandy flavor essences instead of fruits and spices?

Yes, there are commercially available brandy flavor essences that can be mixed with vodka to achieve a brandy-like taste quickly and with less effort.

What is the ideal storage condition for homemade vodka-based brandy?

It should be stored in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight, and preferably in an airtight glass container to preserve the flavors and prevent oxidation.

How can I sweeten my homemade brandy?

You can sweeten your homemade brandy by adding a simple syrup, made from sugar and water, honey, or other sweeteners to your desired taste.

Is aging homemade vodka-based brandy in a glass jar effective?

While glass jars won't impart the same flavor as wooden casks, they can be used for the infusion and aging processes. The addition of wood chips can help simulate the barrel-aging effect.

Can spices be used to enhance the flavor of vodka-based brandy?

Spices such as cinnamon, vanilla, cloves, or nutmeg can be used to introduce complex flavors and warmth to the infusion, enhancing the brandy-like characteristics.

Will homemade vodka-based brandy taste exactly like traditional brandy?

While homemade vodka-based brandy can be made to approximate the rich flavors of traditional brandy, the exact taste is difficult to replicate due to the complex chemical changes that occur during the aging process in oak barrels.

How do I know when my vodka-based brandy is ready?

Taste your infusion at various stages to decide when it has reached the desired flavor. The readiness is subjective and based on personal preference, but physical changes like color and scent can also be indicators.

Can I make vodka-based brandy from any fruit flavor?

While not all fruit flavors may closely resemble the taste of traditional brandy, you're free to experiment with various fruits to create unique and enjoyable infusions.

What are the health risks involved in making homemade brandy from vodka?

As with consuming any alcoholic beverage, moderation is key. Ensure that all ingredients used are safe for consumption and that homemade products are stored safely to reduce the risk of contamination.

How important is the resting period after infusing my vodka with flavors?

The resting period allows the flavors to meld and mellow, resulting in a smoother and more cohesive flavor profile. Skipping this step may lead to a less harmonious blend of flavors.

Can I reuse the fruit and spices from one batch of vodka-based brandy to another?

While you could theoretically reuse them, it is not recommended because the flavors will be weaker and the used ingredients may introduce unwanted tastes or spoilage into the next batch.

Now you're equipped with the knowledge to impress your friends and elevate your home bartending game by making your own brandy from vodka. Be sure to put your newfound skills to the test and experiment with different types of fruit or oak barrels to create uniquely flavored brandies! And, as always, keep exploring the world of vodka with us here at Vodka Doctors. Share your creations with us, and don't forget to check out our other guides for more fascinating vodka insights.

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Ferdynand Scheuerman

Ferdynand is Vodka importer, exporter and specialist with over 30 years of experience in the Vodka industry. He knows the subtle in's & out's of Vodka. Spending most of his time discovering new brands, new blends and new cocktails.

About Ferdynand Scheuerman

Ferdynand is Vodka importer, exporter and specialist with over 30 years of experience in the Vodka industry. He knows the subtle in's & out's of Vodka. Spending most of his time discovering new brands, new blends and new cocktails.

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