Clean spinach and dry in salad spinner. Can be cleaned ahead, stored in a plastic bag until needed.
Place spinach and optional ingredients in large salad bowl.
In large frying pan, fry bacon until crisp stirring often, Discard some of the bacon drippings if desired (probably 1/4 cup is sufficient.).
Add sugar, mustard, vinegar, optional chopped shallot and stir until mixture boils. Heat brandy until warmed in a glass measure in the microwave. Pour into vinegar mixture, ignite with long match and shake pan until the flames die. Don't do this below the cook top hood or any other flammable object.
Pour hot dressing over spinach & toss. Sprinkle with chopped eggs and chopped pecans (walnuts, hazelnuts or even sunflower seeds optional). Add salt & pepper to taste. Other additions could be canned mandarin orange slices, dried cherries, or cranberries.