Brandy gets its name from the Dutch word brandewijin, or burnt wine. Dutch traders in the 17th-century distilled wine to preserve it during transport. Brandy is distilled by cooking wine, which causes the alcohol to condense while the water burns off and evaporates. The alcohol liquefies as it cools leaving brandy. Brandy is made from grapes and other fruits such as blackberries. Blackberry brandy is a popular aperitif and used as a flavoring in desserts and sauces.
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One of the health benefits of blackberry brandy is the antioxidant activity. Blackberry brandy contains vitamin C that is a by-product from the copper used in the distillation process. One shot, or 30 mls, provides around 90mg of vitamin C, according to Dr. Gordon Troup a researcher at Monash University's School of Physics. Troup noted in the article printed in the December 2005 issue of "Science Daily," that as the quality of the brandy increased, so too did the antioxidant benefits. Antioxidants help protect your body from damage by free radicals. Vitamin C also prevents scurvy, gout and boosts your immune system.
Enjoying a glass of blackberry brandy is good for your heart. The alcohol in the brandy has a protective effect on the cardiovascular system, according to M. McKee in a review published in the August 1998 issue of the "Journal Of The Royal Society Of Medicine." The heart health benefits of blackberry brandy are only associated with moderate drinking. Findings from the various studies on drinking patterns in American and European men and women concluded that excess alcohol consumption was associated with an increased risk of heart attack and death.
Blackberry brandy helps reduce stress by relaxing you when drank in moderation. A 2007 study published in the 2007 issue of the "Journal of Abnormal Psychology" studied men between the ages of 21 and 25 in clinical stress situations. The subjects were divided into an alcohol group and a placebo group and put into a variety of stressful situations varying from computer tasks to presenting speeches. The study found that alcohol did reduce stress in the alcohol group, but it also limited the subjects' attention span.
Blackberry brandy is a fortified wine that generally contains around 30 to 60 percent alcohol. Always consume alcohol in moderation and drink responsibly. Pregnant women should not drink alcohol. If you are taking any medications, read the label warnings and consult with your doctor or health care provider before consuming and alcoholic beverage.
- "Medical News Today": The Better the Brandy, The Greater The Health Benefit; 12-19-05
- "Science Daily": Health BEnefits of a Christmas Brandy; 12-19-05
- Great Cocktails: The History of Brandy; Liz Hinds; 12-3-10
- Linus Pauling Institute: Vitamin C; Jane Higdon, Ph.D. January 2006
- "Journal Of The Royal Society Of Medicine": M. McKee; August 1998
- "Journal of Abnormal Psychology": Stress-Response-Dampening Effects of Alcohol; K. Sher; May 2007