Bespoke Life: 1983 Brandy by Domaine Charbay

There is nothing like the “art and lore” of brandy distilling and more you pay, the more refined & honest the spirit… one would hope. And that brandy should have a story.

The Perfect Drink

THERE’Sbrandy‘ and then there’s Brandy. Made from the distillate of wine and then aged in oak (where it gets its amber color), Brandy (and it’s cousins, Cognac and Armagnac, made in region of the same name in France)  is all to often overly-processed, artificially colored and drastically underwheling.

Enter the Karakasevic family, from a long line of master distillers, who settled in the ‘highlands’ of Spring Mountain in Northern California to churn out some of America’s most unique and cherished spirits.

This brandy was hand-distilled by Miles Karakasevic (Madter Distiller) andfrom a base wine of ‘Folle Blance” then aged in Oak Barrels from Limousin France for an unfettered clarity and an almost incomprehensivble complexity.

Top notes of mulling spices with caramael and a tlight floral toast with a dollop of blood orange marmaled. In essence: this stuff is good!

Distiller’s Notes: “Launching the Brandy program in 1983 with a 1,000 gallon Pruhlo Alambic was a long term commitment to distilling in California. I wanted our brandy to reflect my heritage of hand distilling.  Little did I know that we would distill so many spirits in between but I was determined that the premiere would be how I envisioned it should be: full bodied and elegant.  That my son apprenticed by my side and learned to distill whiskey, rum, pastis, flavored vodkas and more while the brandy aged…well, that’s how my people carry on. For me, distilling isn’t a business; it’s a way of life.

— Miles Karakasevic


About Charbay Brandy N0. 83:

“The most interesting thing I tried at WhiskyFest was a brandy of all things. Tasted like what I imagine a Christmas rum raisin cake tastes like; juicy allspice…” Camper English/SF /WhiskeyFest

100 cases made of 750ml and 95 cases of 375ml. Get it at

Guide to Man’s Drink (Summer 2010): The (Charbay) Screwdriver

Get screwed…

The world first heard of the ‘screwdriver’ in a 1949 Times article claiming Turkish and American engineers would concoct orange juice and vodka cocktails in their office with only their screwdrivers to stir the drink. Todays rendition hasn’t changed much it is, in effect, and will always be vodka and orange juice; but we suggest you step it up a bit. Ditch the Stoli and the overpriced Vodkas and reach for some hand-crafted Vodkas: TGG Recommends Tito’s Handmade Vodka (here) and our friends at Charbay (here); their clear Vodka is superb but here we take the screwdriver and give it a bit of an upgrade.

The Drink

The Equipment:

  • Highball Glass
  • Orange Wedge/ Slice

The Stuff:

  • Charbay Blood Orange Vodka (or any clear vodka- forget the artificially flavored Stoli…)
  • Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice

The Drink:

  • Fill highball glass with ice pour one part vodka, two parts juice, stir.
  • Garnish with orange slice.
  • Lay back and enjoy.

Natural Fruit-extracted and hand-crafted vodkas...