Birth of brandy
Wine brandy has been produced in Europe from the 12th or 13th century onwards. It only became popular as a drink in the 14th century. It used to be very strong with alcohol content of up to 60 – 90%. In the beginning, its use was limited to medical purposes and it served as a medicine and an anesthetic.
Later on, higher social classes started enjoying it as a drink. Burnt wine was drunk by townspeople already in the 15th century. Peasants in the countryside started drinking it (the drink) much later. It was made not just from wine, but also from fruits.
Brandy in Slovakia
Several terms for brandy were used in the Slovak language in the past. One of them, brent, is closely related to the term brandy.
In the 15th century, production of brandy made from wine spread almost everywhere. In Hungary (of which Slovakia was an integral part in those times), brandy distilleries were established on a massive scale.
The great popularity of brandy is quite obvious from the many bans and limitations issued by city councils. Members of the bourgeoisie were for instance banned from visiting wine distilleries and drinking burnt wine on Sundays and on holidays prior to going to the mass.
The most famous place for the amber drink has been the French Cognac region, which boasts thousands of hectares of vineyards until this day.