Sip a Snifter at New Brandy Bar

Hendersonville’s beverage options get even broader with the opening of The Brandy Bar at 504 Seventh Avenue East in early February. Inspired by the area’s history — Fletcher namesake Dr. George Fletcher made his own brandy — owner Brenda Coates hopes to introduce visitors to the nuances of distilled wine.

“A lot of people have the impression that brandy is some sweet liqueur, but it’s really just whiskey made with fruit,” Coates explains. Through curated flights such as “Cognac Classics” and “Goodies from Gascony,” drinkers can get to know the differences between bottles. Mixed drinks such as the classic Metropolitan or the dessert-like Brandy Alexander showcase the spirit’s versatility.

Although the tasting room won’t have a kitchen on site, Coates will offer a variety of locally crafted bar snacks to accompany the brandy. Seventh Street neighbor Underground Bakery will provide crusty baguettes to accompany cheeses from Fairview’s Looking Glass Creamery, for example, while Waynesville’s Sunburst Trout Farms sources trout caviar, jerky, and dip.

Coates is partnering with Carriage House distillery in Lenoir to produce pear and apple brandy, which should be available later in the year. For now, she’s eager to develop the palates of curious patrons. “What’s so interesting about brandy is the wide variety of flavors. It’s a great drink for people to sniff, sip, and savor.”

For more information, e-mail brendcoates@msn.com

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