Alcoholic drinks, rightly used, are good for body and soul alike, but as a restorative of both there is nothing like brandy.
Craft brandy was never something I anticipated enjoying, it was something I associated as being more of a men’s drink than one for the ladies – until I tasted the glorious Copper brandies from Musgrave Spirits.
Musgrave, who originally started out with their two fantastic craft gins, branched out recently into the world of brandy. Some may have thought it an odd choice – yet when you look at the exquisite packaging, and then taste the product they’ve come up with, suddenly it all just makes complete and utter sense. Like it was naturally going to be their next step.
The Musgrave Copper brandies are one of the most luxurious craft spirits I’ve had the pleasure of tasting, and are flavour-infused as well. You’ll find 2 flavour-infusions in the range – the Musgrave Copper Vanilla and the Musgrave Copper Black Honey. Both brandies are said to be ‘pot still brandy that behaves like a cognac and drinks like a whisky’ – sounds fabulous, right?!
The Musgrave Copper Vanilla is double distilled in copper pot stills, and matured for 3 years in oak barrels. These barrels are selected purely on age, so that the end result is a very light coloured brandy with a limited oak contribution. The brandy is infused with natural vanilla in such a gentle way that it isn’t obnoxiously flavoured. You’ll get a creamy vanilla right through from the nose, that’ll gently kiss your palate, along with hints of figs and dried fruit – it’s utterly delectable.
Musgrave Copper Vanilla is designed to be mixed (although it is very nice served on the rocks), and while you can blend it into many cocktails easily, Musgrave do have a suggestion for their ‘perfect serve’. We were lucky enough to taste this at the tasting we attended at Makaranga last year, and it’s delicious.
Musgrave Copper Vanilla – The Perfect Serve
Double shot of Musgrave Copper Vanilla over ice, with a
Dash of sparkling water
Slice of orange.
For an even more indulgent drink, you can add a shot of Bianco Vermouth, which will further enhance that vanilla flavour.
We created 2 drinks with the Musgrave Copper Vanilla, that we enjoyed thoroughly.
Musgrave Copper Vanilla – Brandy Old Fashioned
With the Musgrave Copper brandies designed to be the ‘bourbon of brandy’, we decided that creating an Old Fashioned out of both brandies would be a great idea. We love bourbon, and LOVE an Old Fashioned!
2 tots of Musgrave Copper Vanilla
teaspoon of vanilla sugar (you can make this yourself by leaving a split vanilla pod in sugar, and allowing the flavour to infuse, OR you can purchase this pre-made. A nice suggestion is this one from NOMU, which I’m definitely going to buy for myself)
Splash of bitters
Twist of orange peel
Handful of ice
Place the vanilla sugar in a tumbler and add the splash of bitters and a dash of water. Muddle together until sugar is dissolved. Fill the glass with ice cubes and add the brandy. Garnish with the orange twist (give it a really good twist to let the oils seep out). Enjoy!
I also wanted to try using coffee in a recipe with the brandy, and whipped up my own homemade coffee ice cream to make a grown up milkshake!
Musgrave Copper Vanilla Spiked Coffee Milkshake
I was given a recipe for homemade no-churn ice cream from the lovely Leigh from Lipgloss Is My Life, and I’ve since changed it up a little to suit my own tastes. You can use store-bought coffee ice cream, but trust me, this homemade version is so good, it may not even make it into the milkshake! Together though, it created the ultimate Vanilla Coffee shake.
For the ice cream: –
2 teaspoons of good quality instant coffee (I used Nescafe Gold)
1 can of condensed milk
2 tubs of cream
1/2 shot of vodka
Mix the coffee and vodka into the condensed milk until completely dissolved. Whip the cream and fold through the condensed milk mixture. Pour into a freezer-friendly container and freeze until set! That’s it! The small amount of vodka isn’t there to flavour it, and you don’t even taste it – it’s just a nifty way of avoiding having to stir the ice cream every few hours, and it stops it going icy.
For the cocktail: –
3 scoops of coffee ice cream
2 shots of Musgrave Copper Vanilla Brandy
Splash of milk
Add all ingredients into a blender or a Nutribullet. Blend until smooth. Pour into glass of choice, garnish with cocoa or finely grated dark chocolate. Enjoy!
You can purchase Musgrave Copper Vanilla Brandy in the following sizes: –
I really love the array of different sizes, and you can get the minis at a lot of bottle stores too – fab and affordable gift if you add it to a nice tumbler!
The Musgrave Copper Black Honey is definitely my favourite of the 2 – although they are both so delicious. It is double distilled and matured in oak barrels – but this one is a blend of 20 year old and 5 year old brandies. It’s definitely a lot richer and darker with notes of prune, honey, liquorice, light molasses and a light savoury note. The lingering aftertaste is definitely of a sweet, rich honey. Musgrave actually use black honey from the Zambian forests to infuse the flavour into the brandy, and the end product is exceptional.
Musgrave Copper Black Honey is (like the Vanilla) designed to be mixed (it is GORGEOUS on the rocks as well), but it also has a suggested ‘perfect serve’.
Musgrave Copper Black Honey – The Perfect Serve
Double shot of Musgrave Copper Black Honey over ice, with a
Dash of ginger ale
Wedge of lime (I used a thick slice)
While this is incredible, and the lime truly brings out the honey notes, you can also add a shot of Pale Dry for a drink with beautiful complexity.
We created another 2 delicious drinks with the Musgrave Copper Black Honey, although to be honest the perfect serve is my favourite.
Musgrave Copper Black Honey – Brandy Old Fashioned
2 shots Musgrave Copper Black Honey
Teaspoon of honey
Splash of bitters
Wedge of honeycomb to garnish
Pour the honey and bitters into a tumbler with a dash of water, and muddle until combined. Fill the glass with ice and pour over the Musgrave Copper Black Honey. Garnish with a wedge of fresh honeycomb.
We were so lucky that my in-laws were harvesting their beehive at the time I was trying out these drinks, so we had the freshest honey and honeycomb to use that was SO delicious, and was incredibly rich.
Musgrave Copper Black Honey – Spiced Hot Chocolate
2 shots of Musgrave Copper Black Honey
250ml full cream milk
3 heaped teaspoons unsweetened hot chocolate (we LOVE the NOMU Unsweetened Cocoa Drink)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp each of ginger, nutmeg and cardamom
Honey to taste
Whipped cream to serve
Warm the milk on the stove and mix in the spices and hot chocolate until dissolved. Add the Musgrave Copper Black Honey and honey to taste, and mix until all combined. Pour into a heat-proof glass, top with whipped cream and either cocoa or finely grated dark chocolate. Enjoy!
This is the most decadent, warming drink you can sip on in the colder weather, and is the perfect finish to a meal if you don’t want an actual dessert or coffee. You’re welcome to use regular hot chocolate, but we really wanted ours sweetened with honey rather than sugar.
You can purchase Musgrave Copper Black Honey Brandy in the following sizes: –
Honestly, I think that the Musgrave Copper brandies have changed the way I view brandy as a whole, and have made it far more enjoyable for me to drink. They’d make lovely gifts, for any gender, whether you buy a full size, a swig with a set of tumblers, or a single tumbler with a mini!
Have you read my post on the Musgrave Gins? Check it out here: –
Have you tried either of the Musgrave Copper brandies? Which was your favourite?