Words by: Simon Difford
Apricot brandy is a common term for the most popular style of apricot liqueurs. This is a confusing as most of these liqueurs are actually made by macerating cherries in neutral spirit (vodka) rather than brandy and then sweetening with beet sugar. Some apricot brandies might also contain brandy or be brandy based but in most markets this is not a legal requirement.
In the European Union if the base alcohol is not actually distilled from fermented fruit then the type of agricultural alcohol must be clearly indicted on the label.
In the United States the term 'apricot brandy' refers to a flavoured brandy that is based on grape brandy and at least 35% alc./vol (70ºproof).
Apricot liqueurs may be flavoured with infusions or distillations of apricot flesh and/or kernels. The French liqueur Eau de Noyaux is prepared from bitter apricot kernels.
Part of Giffard’s ‘Premium’ liqueur range, this apricot liqueur is made by the slow maceration of ‘Rouge du Roussillon’ apricots in neutral alcohol. Rich sun-dried apricots and raisins, akin to a Pedro Ximenez sherry/dessert wine, pollen-like dusty notes.Wonderfully perfumed nose with poached apricot.
This apricot liqueur is made with an infusion of ripe ‘Rouge du Roussillon’ apricots by Giffard & Cie, a fourth generation family-owned and run liqueur producer in France’s Loire Valley. Fresh and dried apricot with apricot preserve (jam) and faint almond.
Sôn Tinh Mô Vaøng is a Vietnamese liqueur made using “a secret natural method of extracting the juice and aromas from the apricots, followed by maceration in the finest, matured Sôn Tinh sticky rice spirit.” Mô Vaøng is rested for three years prior to bottling. Stewed prunes, prune wine, dried apricot and vanilla with herbal spice.
A apricot brandy liqueur made by Gabriel Boudier, established in 1874 in the heart of Dijon, the small French town famous for its mustard and 'crème' liqueurs. Fresh sun-ripened apricot skins, apricot tart, light blossom and apricot stones with aromatic mango skin and faint spice.
"Distillates of premium apricots, delicately blended with fine brandy to preserve the fresh flavour," says De Kuyper. Made with molasses spirit blended with brandy. Almond-like, marzipan-led, orange blossom/honeysuckle and baked apricot skin.
Lejay Lagoute make this ‘crème’ liqueur in Dijon by steeping French apricots in beet neutral alcohol. It is lighter in style than the Apricot Brandy also produced by the company. Aromatic aromas of marzipan from maceration with the fruit stones. The nose promises much.
This apricot brandy liqueur is made by Lejay Lagoute in Dijon, France by steeping French apricots in beet neutral alcohol. It is sweetened with 450 grams sugar per litre. Apricot jam, ripe apricot skin and flesh with perfumed almond, tropical fruit and banana chews candy.
First bottled in May 2012, Lune d'Abricot (apricot moon) is an apricot brandy made with a maceration of fresh French apricots in neutral alcohol blended with a touch of young cognac from the producer's own cellars. Dried apricot and apricot jam with ripe pear, pear skin and green apple skin.
Made by distilling apricot kernels macerated in cognac with spices. The name comes from the French ‘noyau’, meaning kernel, while Sceau De Saint Louis (the seal of St Louis) celebrates one of the Crusader Kings, Louis, born in 1214 at Poissy, the son of King Louis VIII and Blanche of Castile. Spirity toasted almond and marzipan.
Established in 1836 by Edmond Briottet and located in Dijon, France, Briottet’s Crème d'Abricot is made with ripe, velvety yellow-orange apricots which are macerated in sugar neutral alcohol to release their sun-drenched flavour. Apricot jam, dried apricot and acacia honey.
Blended using 10 year-old Grand Champagne XO cognac and single cask pot still rum from Guyana. This most premium of apricot liqueurs is flavoured with apricots from Turkey and Rouges-Roussillon and Bergeron apricots from France, which are macerated, distilled and blended at De Kuyper's distillery. Unctuous fresh ripe apricot skin and flesh, baked banana and just-cooked apricot pie, with rich apricot blossom and brandy complexity.
Bols Apricot Brandy is one of the oldest Bols liqueur recipes, dating back to the 19th century. Apricot kernels were originally sourced from Marseille where they were and stored in barrels filled with brandy. The distillation of the mixture made a fabulous liqueur and contributed to its name. Roasted almond and apricot skin (akin to a combination of Maraschino and Amaretto) with tropical apricot fruit and banana chews candy.
Two German bartenders, Stephan Berg and Alexander Hauck, are the driving force behind the Bitter Truth brand. Their apricot liqueur is made with apricots from Klosterneuburg and a fruit eau-de-vie distilled of the same fruit.