My father was a brandy man for years. As a result, I always associated it with grown-ups. He would sit with his friends deep in debate around politics, Africa, economics, etc, some Ellington, Miles, Basie and the like playing on the record player with a bottle or two of brandy in the mix. When I started drinking, getting some brandy was a novelty. It felt like I was becoming a man. Truth be told, that was years ago and I shifted off the brandy in my 20s and have never really gone back.

I have been following, with interest, how brandy brands have been working to change the stereotypes that they have become associated with.  How does one change the image that comes to mind when you think Klipdrift, for example? A few months back, I participated in a Klipdrift Instagram photowalk through Joburg’s inner city followed by lunch overlooking the city at the Parktonian.

FINE BRANDY. BY DESIGN is part of this drive to change brandy perceptions. It is a collection of brandies that consists of Klipdrift, Oude Meester and Fish Eagle. Each is being positioned to provide a different image of who their consumer is.

This weekend, at the Taste of Joburg 2012, they will all be showcasing the ways in which brandy can be used as the foundation for cocktails and paired with great food.  The following statement taken from their press release shows they recognise that they have their work cut out for them.

“Many people find brandy intimidating. Our aim is to showcase some of South Africa’s international award winning brandies in an enjoyable, palatable manner so that they can be truly appreciated for the outstanding, award winning products that they are. By indulging as many of the senses as possible – sight, smell, taste and touch, FINE BRANDY. BY DESIGN. accomplishes an extraordinarily unique experience to enjoy brandy.  By showcasing the mix-ability of the brandy in the cocktail, FINE BRANDY. BY DESIGN.  demonstrates to the public a new way to appreciate brandy. We want people to walk away from this experience saying they never believed brandy could be enjoyed like that”, says Shelley Ellse, Marketing Manager FINE BRANDY. BY DESIGN. Distell.  

As with most things, time will tell. In the mean time, they’ve been kind enough to offer a prize to visitors to evolutionary. I’ll be sharing various cocktails over the next couple of weeks and will put up competition details early next week.

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About Kojo Baffoe

Of Ghanaian/German heritage, raised in Lesotho and currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Kojo is the proverbial slashie, the professional ‘jack of all trades.’ He is an entrepreneur, writer, facilitator, content architect, former men’s magazine editor and speaker. He has a Bachelor of Commerce (1994) with majors in Economics, Marketing and Business Administration from the former the University of Natal (Durban), now University of KwaZulu-Natal.

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