Brandy is a distilled spirit that is typically served after a meal. While you might not have a habit of drinking brandy, you’ll often find that it’s added to Christmas food like mince pies and Christmas puddings.
But is brandy vegan-friendly? Or does it have hidden animal products? Read on to find out whether vegans can drink brandy or not.
Brandy is made from fermented fruit and is usually vegan. However, sometimes brandy is distilled using animal products such as albumin (from eggs), gelatine (from pigs or cows) or isinglass (fish bladders). Occasionally, honey may be added for flavour or cochineal (crushed beetles) may be added for colour.
How do I know if brandy is vegan or not?
Alcoholic drinks often don’t have any labelling to say if they are vegan-friendly and they are not required to list the ingredients. To know for sure if a particular brand of brandy is vegan you could email the manufacturer to ask.
Luckily, the popular vegan website Barnivore.com has done just that already and it lists most brands of brandy and whether they are suitable for vegans or not. According to Barnivore.com, over 90% of brandies are vegan.
Which Brandies are vegan?
The table below shows the top 10 most popular brandies in the UK and the good news is that they are all suitable for vegans!
|Brandy||Is it vegan?|
|Remy Martin VSOP||Yes|
Is cognac vegan?
Cognac is a specific type of brandy that comes specifically from the Cognac region of France. Just like brandy, almost all varieties of cognac are vegan-friendly.
Is Hennessy vegan?
Hennessy cognac is suitable for vegans as it does not contain any animal products. No outside ingredients are added and any filters are vegetable based.
Is cherry brandy vegan?
Most brands of cherry brandy are vegan-friendly, including Tesco Finest cherry brandy, Demijohn morello cherry brandy liqueur and Ableforth’s cherry brandy.
However, vegans should know that Bols cherry brandy and Castle Glen cherry brandy are not vegan-friendly. These brands of cherry brandy contain cochineal which is a red food dye that’s made from crushed beetles.
Is the brandy in Christmas pudding and mince pies vegan?
It is most likely that any brandy that’s used to make a Christmas pudding or mince pie is vegan because most brandy is vegan. Any non-vegan brandies tend to be luxury liqueurs that would not usually be used in food.
To be sure, check the packaging for the vegan trademark, or you could make your own vegan Christmas pudding and mince pies so that you know exactly what’s in them.