Brandy was an alcoholic beverage invented on Earth long before the Diaspora.
It had begun as a way of decreasing wine shipping costs, but eventually acquired a independent following. Brandy was distilled wine, but various brandies differed in the choice of the base wine, details of the distillation, and variations in the curing (typically in oaken barrels) afterward. All of this allowed for a considerable degree of connoisseurship amongst brandy fans.
- Detailed article about Brandy on Wikipedia