Korbel Brandy -- The Spirit of Christmas

Dec 16, 2010, 06:00 ET from Korbel

GUERNEVILLE (RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY), Calif., Dec. 16, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Christmas is the season for sharing and brandy does more than capture the spirit of Christmas – it is the spirit of Christmas. Rich, smooth and warming, fine brandy – like Korbel California Brandy, Korbel XS or Korbel V.S.O.P. Gold Reserve – is a delicious complement to Christmas gatherings, whether as an ingredient in holiday fare, elegant libations or traditional desserts, or enjoyed solo in snifters as an after-dinner treat.

Brandy's versatility – as the spirit of Christmas and throughout the year – reflects the uniqueness of this spirit. In most cases (there are exceptions), fermentation and distillation of wine grapes produces young brandies, and aging in charred small oak barrels imparts distinctive vanilla and spice notes as well as mellowness. Korbel's artisan style of brandy production – the finest California grapes, small-lot distillation and careful aging in European-style fire-toasted oak barrels – gives its brandies the elegance, complexity and extra smoothness that have made them consistent award-winners.

The following two recipes show off brandy's pleasing personality; first in a soup perfect for Christmas dinner, and then in a coffee libation as warm and welcoming as the season.

Brandied Pumpkin Soup

1 tbsp. unsalted butter

2 tsp. ground cumin

2 cans (15 oz. each) pumpkin

2 tsp. ground coriander

1 cup diced yellow onion

2 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 cup diced celery

1 tsp. black pepper

1/2 cup diced carrots

10 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock

1 tbsp. chopped garlic

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup Korbel XS Brandy

Melt butter in soup pot. Add onion, celery, carrots and garlic. Cook until soft. Add brandy and seasonings and simmer for 10 minutes. Add stock, heavy cream and pumpkin and simmer another 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and puree in blender. Reheat before serving. Serve in bowls as a soup course or in espresso cups as an appetizer.

Keoke Coffee

1 oz. Korbel California Brandy

1/2 oz. coffee liqueur

1/2 oz. dark creme de cocoa

Fresh brewed coffee

Whipped cream

Chocolate shavings

In a coffee mug, mix Korbel California Brandy, coffee liqueur and creme de cocoa. Fill with fresh brewed black coffee. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Korbel has produced award-winning California brandy since 1889. Unique among United States producers, Korbel maintains complete control of its brandy production process from grape to bottle. Handcrafted in small batches, Korbel Brandy is aged to perfection in premium fire-toasted oak barrels to achieve golden amber color, generous butterscotch aroma and extra smooth taste. Three brandies comprise the Korbel portfolio: rich, flavorful Korbel California Brandy, complex, sumptuous Korbel V.S.O.P. Gold Reserve and unique Korbel XS, which blends premium vanilla, natural orange essence, spices and pure cane sugar for a one-of-a-kind taste.

Celebrate responsibly.