Homemade Brandy with Accessible Ingredients

Those who are not afraid of experiments with homemade alcoholic drinks should definitely try this recipe for brandy made with ethanol or vodka. It perfectly imitates the real taste of brandy by using burnt sugar and oak bark. This recipe is quite simple and it’s not time-consuming. As a result, you’ll have a brandy drink of a normal quality with a well-balanced mild taste. Most people won’t notice any difference compared to the original brandy.

Note. This infusion recipe has nothing to do with real cognac or grape brandy.


  • Ethanol 40% (vodka) – 3 liters
  • Oak bark (optional) – 3 tbsp
  • Clover – 3 buds
  • Burnt sugar (caramel) – 2 tsp
  • Nutmeg – ½ tsp
  • Vanilla sugar – to taste

Wine spirit is the perfect fit for this brandy, but it’s quite hard to obtain. That’s why most amateur winemakers simply use ethanol (diluted to 40-45%) or high-quality vodka. You can also make homemade brandy with cleaned moonshine (distillate) without a smell to prevent fusel oils and other substances from spoiling the taste.

How to Make Brandy with Ethanol

  1. Pour ethanol into a glass jar.
  2. Melt sugar in a frying pan until it’s brown and then add it to the jar containing ethanol. Thanks exactly to the burnt sugar the color of the final product will resemble real cognac. Then put the rest of the ingredients into the jar: oak bark (it creates natural smell), cloves, nutmegs, and vanillin. If you don’t like the flavor of any of these ingredients, you can remove them from the list without hesitation.
  3. Stir the brandy mixture with a wooden spoon, seal, and leave for at least 30 days in a dark cold place. Shake once every 5-7 days. Prolonged aging enhances the taste.
  4. At the final stage, strain the homemade brandy through cheesecloth, bottle, and seal it. This homemade brandy’s shelf life is 2-3 years, and it has 38-39% ABV.

Brandy drink made with ethanol

The main advantage of this brandy recipe is that it requires only cheap and accessible ingredients, which can be found in any store. The whole mixing process takes up little time.

The only disadvantage, though, is the long aging time (about 1 month), but you can’t do without it.

Of course, the resulting brandy drink only vaguely resembles the original due to no adherence to the traditional technology. But nevertheless, it’s a good drink that can be made with ingredients at hand.

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