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Need Info For Brandy For Western Fruitcake Recipe

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I plan to make the Western Fruitcake using the recipe from today's Texas Cooking newsletter. It included an option to sprinkle brandy or rum over the top of the fruitcake. I know nothing about purchasing liquor and don't know what kind of brandy to get. The shelves are loaded with all kinds of it. Can anyone recommend a good brandy for this? Or would rum be better?

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My personal opinion is that for fruitcake purposes, an expensive brandy would be a waste. But I wouldn't recommend taking the cheapest route either. Since you're not a big brandy consumer, I think you should buy a small bottle of reasonably priced brandy. And, personally, I would stay away from the flavored brandies because you don't want the flavor of the fruit (and sometimes artificial flavors are used in flavored brandies) to overpower or conflict with the already wonderful flavor of your fruitcake. After you've made the fruitcake once, you might decide that it would be fun to add, say, a subtle apple flavor. Then you could buy some calvados (apple brandy).

Just by way of information, brandy is grape wine that has been distilled. Fruit-flavored brandy is regular brandy to which fruit flavors are added. Fruit brandy, like calvados, is distilled from apple wine.

So my best advice would be to use regular, unflavored brandy the first time you make the fruitcake. Then, after you know how the cake tastes, you can feel free to experiment with other brandies. You may decide that you don't want to improve upon the original.

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