Tell it to SunStar: Bingeing on brandy

Isabel T. Escoda
·2 min read

Some people are born lucky. Those who like brandy and have been able to afford to buy it during this year of living dangerously with Covid-19 have been able to forget their troubles and drown their sorrows in that special kind of liquor.

A local business report recently said the Emperador company posted revenue of P52.6 billion in 2020. Despite the lockdowns and bans on liquor, the company said those have been “offset by increased sales in off-trade and e-commerce.” Apparently the growth trajectory of its whisky and brandy businesses continue unabated “across all geographies like the UK, US, Netherlands, Sweden, Russia, Europe and Asia.” That obviously means that the coping mechanism of lots of folks around the globe involves getting their bodies soused and their brains pickled in alcohol.

Sadly for those of us who don’t have the means to buy bottles of a special grog like brandy have had to live with mental problems like suicidal tendencies and other such morbid thoughts. Some, like my second cousin Dingdong, have been abusing fatty food, starches, sugary desserts and Coke to such an extent that they have grown obese. Even my close friend Yoly has lost her svelte figure because she indulges in so much junk food and other unhealthy stuff. She doesn’t seem to care that folks call her “tambok” behind her back. Their main exercise consists of opening their refrigerator doors and meeting the Jolly Bee delivery boys at the door.

On top of which, both of them drink brandy like there’s no tomorrow. I researched the drink and learned that it’s a distilled spirit made from fermented fruit juie. It’s produced using grapes or other fruit like apples usually grown in the Normandy region of France. Obviously Pinoy producers of Emperador brandy have a connection with the French to be able to import the ingredients for making brandy (sometimes also called “cognac”). That particular brand comes from white grapes in six different regions of France, the most coveted of which comes from the Champage territory. They’re aged in oak casks for a few years to make them tastier and more potent.

Ordinary Pinoys who can only afford to imbibe our local San Miguel beer may have to scrimp and scrounge to get their hands on Emperador brandy. But they seem to survive without it okay, knowing that our macho film stars appear in ads urging “Mag beer muna tayo.”

It was clever of the local producers of Emperador brandy to use the Spanish word for emperor because they know the rich members of our society, especially politicians, usually behave like royalty.