California Brandy Hooch Essence | Brandy Flavor for DIY Spirits

California Brandy Hooch Essence | Brandy Flavor for DIY Spirits - Blind Pig Drinking Co.

California Brandy Hooch Essence | Brandy Flavor for DIY Spirits

  • Free 3-5 Day U.S. Ground Shipping* (Above $50)
  • 30-Day Hassle-Free Returns & Exchanges
  • 90-Day Oak Barrel Warranty
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Regular price $7.97
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California Fire Brandy essence, is inspired by the renowned Korbel California brandy. It has been a staple of Sonoma County's artisan distillery since 1889. This new essence is crafted to emulate the award-winning brandy known for its rich butterscotch aroma, golden amber color, and extra smooth taste. Korbel's legacy, particularly its acclaim in Wisconsin where brandy is a celebrated tradition, displays the development of our essence. By incorporating characteristics of fire-charred premium oak barrels used in aging Korbel brandy, the California Fire Brandy essence aims to deliver a similar depth and warmth in flavor.

Mix a 20 ml bottle of California Fire Brandy Hooch Essence to a 750ml bottle of neutral spirit (rail flavorless vodka, grain alcohol or moonshine) and age to taste in an Authentic handcrafted oak aging barrel. After a few weeks your crafted spirit will be similar to Korbel Brandy!

* label image on actual bottle of essence may vary

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The images displayed for personalization are computer-generated and represent an engraved oak barrel or cocktail smoker. Oak barrels will feature a lighter brown shade with etching on the barrel top, while cocktail smokers will be dark brown. We avoid using paint in the engraving process for oak barrels to maintain a natural appearance and prevent any potential leaching of paint into your oak barrel.

Our state-of-the-art laser engravers are precisely calibrated to ensure consistent power and speed delivery to the cocktail smoker top and barrel head surface. Any variations in the finished burn result from nature's influence, as combinations of hard and soft grains may produce contrasting (lighter/darker) results. This uniqueness enhances the beauty of your engraved cocktail smoker or oak barrel, making it truly one-of-a-kind. Just as no two pieces of oak are identical, your engraved cocktail smoker or oak barrel is a masterpiece.

Expertly crafted from American White Oak sourced from U.S. forests | White oak barrels made exactly like big distillery oak barrels but only smaller | No nails, no glue, no toxic varnish | Medium #3 char for optimal flavor for aging | Stylish black hoops | U.S. based company.

Aging barrel enhances spirits 10x faster due to an increased surface-to-volume ratio. Enjoy great-tasting spirits in weeks, not years!

No need to pay a distillery to age your spirits when you can do it at home at a fraction of the cost | This small oak barrel is ideal for Bourbon, Whiskey, Scotch, Tequila, Rum, Brandy, Cognac, Liqueurs, Schnapps, Wine, Vinegar, Hot Sauce and Barrel-Aged Cocktails | Available in 1, 2, 3, 5, 10 & 20 liter sizes.

Simple instructions are included to cure and enjoy your barrel for many years | Just pour your favorite store-bought spirits into the barrel and age to your desired taste.

Buy With Confidence | 90-Day Oak Barrel Warranty | Guaranteed To Seal Or We'll Replace It Hassle Free | Responsive Customer Care Team for help setting up and maintaining your barrel.

*NOTE: Virgin barrels, in most cases, leak during curing. Curing is necessary to swell the barrel & simple instructions are included. Once cured, your barrel will naturally seal & bring you many years of satisfaction & fantastic-tasting spirits.

Personalized cocktail smokers will be shipped within one business day from the date of your order, while personalizing an oak barrel may require an additional day.

Tracking information will be sent to the email address you provided within 24 hours of your order leaving the warehouse. If you do not receive tracking information within three business days of your order, please don't hesitate to contact us with your order number at

Please Note: Free shipping applies to the lower 48 U.S. states only; it does not include Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico, Canada, and other international destinations. Our standard shipping method is typically USPS Ground Advantage.

Faster shipping options are available at checkout.

Due to federal regulations, orders containing butane cannot be shipped by air. However, we can accommodate air shipping requests for orders without butane.

Need to return? No problem! Within 30-days you may return your order ... hassle-free. Before returning the item, however, please ensure to notify us first. We have specific addresses designated for returns processing. Your return must be unused and with its original packaging.

Refunds will be issued only to the credit card used for the purchase (minus a 3% credit card processing fee). Additionally, unused barrels will incur a 15% restocking fee.

Tips and Tricks

Smoking the Glass
  • The colder the glass when smoked the longer and better the smoke adheres to the sides.  This will cause the flavor to go in the drink more and with each sip you will breath in some fantastic smoky goodness!
  • The higher the liquid is in the glass, the less overall smoky taste you will get because the smoke cannot penetrate below the liquid line. 
  • When using the torch. It is best to rotate the top so it is no longer straight. If it is straight then it could sputter a bit and you'll need to keep pressing the ignition.
  • It is normal for some smoke leakage between the cocktail smoker that the top of the glass.  This comes from rim of the glass not being perfectly level.
  • Everyone is different on how much of a smoky flavor they want in their drink.  A lot comes with trial and error and the type of chips.  For example, apple and cherry will have a milder smelling smoke and will need to stay in the glass longer.  Texas Mesquite, however, is a more intense and you would not want to have it on as long as you would the apple and cherry.  But it still comes down to personal preference.
  • The black stainless steel smoke chambers will be extremely hot so it is a good idea to not grab that after use.  Simply handle the cocktail smoker by the wooden sides.
Smoke Two Drinks at a Time
  1. Fill your chambers with the desired chips.  You can use different chips in each chamber (for two hole smokers).
  2. Once the first glass is smoked, immediately take off the cocktail smoker and replace with the top.  Do this quickly so you don't lose that much smoke from the glass.
  3. Place the cocktail smoker onto the second glass and smoke it with the other chamber.  Leave the smoker on the second glass.
  4. Depending on the chips used and personal preference, a good guide is leave them covered for about a minute. Texas Mesquite is strong, so be careful.
  5. Once you reach your desired smoke flavor in your drinks, remove the top piece and the smoker piece.
  6. Enjoy! 

About the Butane Fuel

If you have ordered a kit with a torch, then you will not need to purchase butane fuel separately as it will be included with your kit!  You can enjoy smoking cocktails immediately.

How to Use Your Butane Torch

Product Detail
How to fill the torch lighter

Gas Filling

  1. Use only high quality butane fuel.
  2. Never fill in the presence of an open flame or sparks.
  3. Never fill a lit or hot torch.
  4. Before filling gas, use a ball point pen or small screwdriver to drain any remaining butane fuel from the lighter by depressing the filling valve.  The torches we send are all empty of butane fuel.
  5. Shake gas cylinder a couple of times.
  6. Hold torch upside down and insert nozzle into the gas filling valve. See image below.
  7. Push the tip of the fuel can into the filling valve. It will take around 10 seconds for the tank to be completely full.
  8. Once full, it will spit a little bit but will evaporate right away. Let the torch rest for a few minutes before lighting.
Steps to use

Operating Instructions

  1. To ignite the torch, first press and hold the ignition button.  Once you release the flame will extinguish.
  2. To use the safety lock, press and hold the ignition button.  While flame is burning, push down on the safety lock the release the ignition button, the flame will keep burning.
  3. Adjust the flame as needed with the Gas Flow Regulator.
  4. The torch head is adjustable (rotatable) for multiple use.
  5. The torch works best with it NOT in the straight position.

For safety, keep the lock on the down position when not in use.

Aging Spirits in a Small Oak Barrel

Our distillery-grade oak barrels are made using premium virgin American Oak sourced from across the US, including California, Missouri, and Kentucky. We char them to medium, which we've found to be the best at aging spirits and adding flavor to them.

We understand you are beaming with excitement; however, before using your barrel, you need to cure the barrel. Skipping this step will result in lost spirits.


Rinse your barrel 3-4 times to remove any loose charred wood debris. Fill it, cover the holes, shake it, and empty it. Don't worry if it all doesn't come out.

Insert the spigot on the front of the barrel and tap with a hammer firmly to secure it in place, just tight enough to seal it. DO NOT HAMMER THE SPIGOT WITH FULL FORCE.

Insert the spigot in the hole on the face of the barrel head.  You can lightly tap it in with a rubber mallet or twist it tightly into position by hand.

Fill your barrel with HOT water from the tap and insert the bung. Bung should be inserted at a 45-degree angle while twisting and pressing against the hole. Place the barrel on the stand with the spigot towards the ceiling while curing. You can use room-temperature water if you need to top it off due to leaking.

Keep it full until the leaking ceases. (All barrels leak when you first fill them). Curing may take as little as a few hours or as long as a week or more. If you get the outside of the barrel wet (either by you or from the leaking), it is good to dry it off quickly to help keep it looking nice.
IMPORTANT: Contact us with pics at if still leaking after a week. Almost all occurences will be resolved by either put in barrel wax in the affected area or replacing a spigot. The pictures help us diagnose the issue for you.


It's time to start aging your liquor! Remove the bung and pour the water out through the bung hole to empty the water. Open the spigot to assist with airflow.

Place your barrel back on the aging stand and make sure the spigot is in the off position (far left or right).

Aging Store-Bought Brands - Empty your favorite brand spirit bottle into the barrel and insert the bung back.

Making Your Own Spirits - Pour your neutral spirit (flavorless vodka or moonshine) into the barrel with any essence or flavors you like to age. One bottle of essence per 750ml. Give it a shake to mix it up.

Start tasting the spirit after about two weeks. Taste regularly, but once the taste is how you like it, remove it from the barrel, decant it into a bottle to stop aging and maintain that flavor profile.

Make your next batch or store your barrel with the storing tablets!


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