In 2006 I spent a little time with a Chef in Westchester that was making his own brandies for cooking. He would mix a few white wines and distill them into brandy and use them to flavor au poivre sauces and some of his tapas dishes. When he explained the process, I thought I could grasp the concepts but I sort of lost the whole recipe somewhere along the line. What I did understand was that there were “headers” and “trailers” that had to either be redistilled or discarded. From what I understand, a firm understanding of this process is required before attempting brandy production or there could be a serious health risk (although I’m not overly worried as the end result here is not to produce alcohol but rather a reduced sauce). Understanding that actual distillation of alcohol is a Federal “no-no”; I am posting this as a hypothetical topic for discussion only. Does anyone have any material on the distillation of brandies and cognacs? There are precise formulas that deal with specific gravities to estimate the amount of header and trailer that are to be discarded. Any information on the topic would be appreciated. If anyone is ever interested in the production of essential oils, extracts or rosewater (as used in the production of German marzipan) please let me know. I’d be happy to share.