Brandy is typically a distilled grape alcohol, made by fermenting grapes (wine). It can be made from other fruits, such as cherries and apples.
The name comes from Dutch brandewijn (burnt wine).
It was one of the first bases for cure-all tonics and colognes, thought to have originally been made by monks who perfected the art of distillation. The famous Queen of Hungary Water was made to a brandy base.
Commercial manufacturing of brandy started around the 16th