Eaux-de-Vie

Eaux-de-vie

Traditionally produced in France, Germany, Yugoslavia and Scandinavia, eaux-de-vie are 'fruit brandies which are usually sold un-aged, so clear and colourless and generally 40 - 45% alc. /vol.

Eau-de-vie means 'water of life' and this is the French term for brandies made from a fruit other than grapes. (Confusingly, the term is also used for young brandy that will become Cognac and Armagnac once they have reached the statutory age to be described as such.)

Two quite different production methods are used to make fruit eaux-de-vie. Stoned fruits, such as cherries and peaches, are crushed with their kernels, which add a pleasantly bitter component to the brandy. The mash is encouraged to ferment with the addition of yeast, a process which can take weeks or months. The resulting wine is then distilled.

Stoneless fruits are lower in sugar, and so do not ferment to a sufficient alcoholic strength to be distilled. Consequently a different process is employed for stoneless fruits. Instead of being crushed and fermented they are finely chopped and macerated in neutral alcohol. This mixture is then distilled in a pot still.

Eaux-de-vie are bottled as soon as possible after distillation to preserve their elegance and fruit fragrances. They are rarely cask matured because the woody flavours would tend to detract from the delicate aromas and fruit flavours. Generally, the only eaux-de-vie to be aged are those made from fruits with stones. To contribute a little more flavour in lieu of ageing, there is a growing tendency to infuse fruit in the distillate prior to bottling. In Germany the two products are differentiated by calling pure distillates 'wasser' (water) and infused distillates 'geist' (spirit).

Swiss pear eau-de-vie often have a whole pear inside the bottle. This is achieved by placing empty bottles on pear trees in late spring so that each bottle becomes a miniature greenhouse with its own pear growing inside. We do not recommend buying eaux-de-vie with fruit in, firstly because the fruit takes up space and therefore there is less alcohol in the bottle, and secondly because the fruit can rot when the alcohol drops below a level covering and so preserving it.

Fruit brandies are usually served neat and chilled in a small wine glass after a meal. They should be sipped, swirling occasionally to release the delicate aromas.

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St. George Raspberry Brandy image

St. George Raspberry Brandy

Category: Spirits
Sub category: Brandy (eaux-de-vie, cognac & armagnac)
alc./vol: 40

St. George Pear Brandy image

St. George Pear Brandy

Category: Spirits
Sub category: Brandy (eaux-de-vie, cognac & armagnac)
alc./vol: 40

Schladerer Himbeergeist image

Schladerer Himbeergeist

Category: Spirits
Sub category: Brandy (eaux-de-vie, cognac & armagnac)
alc./vol: 42

Schladerer Schwarzwalder Kirshwasser image

Schladerer Schwarzwalder Kirshwasser

Category: Spirits
Sub category: Brandy (eaux-de-vie, cognac & armagnac)
alc./vol: 42

Schladerer Williams-Birne (Williams Pear) image

Schladerer Williams-Birne (Williams Pear)

Category: Spirits
Sub category: Brandy (eaux-de-vie, cognac & armagnac)
alc./vol: 40

Schladerer Zwetschgenwasser image

Schladerer Zwetschgenwasser

Category: Spirits
Sub category: Brandy (eaux-de-vie, cognac & armagnac)
alc./vol: 42

Schladerer Obstwasser image

Schladerer Obstwasser

Category: Spirits
Sub category: Brandy (eaux-de-vie, cognac & armagnac)
alc./vol: 38

Schladerer Mirabell image

Schladerer Mirabell

Category: Spirits
Sub category: Brandy (eaux-de-vie, cognac & armagnac)
alc./vol: 42

G. E. Massenez Poire Williams eau-de-vie image

G. E. Massenez Poire Williams eau-de-vie

Category: Spirits
Sub category: Brandy (eaux-de-vie, cognac & armagnac)
alc./vol: 40

Nordisk Brænderi Aeble Braendevin image

Nordisk Brænderi Aeble Braendevin

Category: Spirits
Sub category: Brandy (eaux-de-vie, cognac & armagnac)
alc./vol: 40

Rare Pear Brandy image

Rare Pear Brandy

Category: Spirits
Sub category: Brandy (eaux-de-vie, cognac & armagnac)
alc./vol: 40

G. Miclo Kirsch Tradition image

G. Miclo Kirsch Tradition

Category: Spirits
Sub category: Brandy (eaux-de-vie, cognac & armagnac)
alc./vol: 40

Merlet Eau de Vigne image

Merlet Eau de Vigne

Category: Spirits
Sub category: Brandy (eaux-de-vie, cognac & armagnac)
alc./vol: 40

G. E. Massenez Kirsch Vieux eau-de-vie image

G. E. Massenez Kirsch Vieux eau-de-vie

Category: Spirits
Sub category: Brandy (eaux-de-vie, cognac & armagnac)
alc./vol: 40

G. E. Massenez Framboise Sauvage eau-de-vie image

G. E. Massenez Framboise Sauvage eau-de-vie

Category: Spirits
Sub category: Brandy (eaux-de-vie, cognac & armagnac)
alc./vol: 40

Acquavite Del Cardinale  image

Acquavite Del Cardinale

Category: Spirits
Sub category: Brandy (eaux-de-vie, cognac & armagnac)
alc./vol: 40

Somerset Eau de Vie image

Somerset Eau de Vie

Category: Spirits
Sub category: Brandy (eaux-de-vie, cognac & armagnac)
alc./vol: 40

Eredeti Vilmos image

Eredeti Vilmos

Category: Spirits
Sub category: Brandy (eaux-de-vie, cognac & armagnac)
alc./vol: 37.5

G. Miclo Fraise Tradition image

G. Miclo Fraise Tradition

Category: Spirits
Sub category: Brandy (eaux-de-vie, cognac & armagnac)
alc./vol: 40

Clear Creek Distillery Kirschwasser image

Clear Creek Distillery Kirschwasser

Category: Spirits
Sub category: Brandy (eaux-de-vie, cognac & armagnac)
alc./vol: 40

G. E. Massenez Mirabelle eau-de-vie image

G. E. Massenez Mirabelle eau-de-vie

Category: Spirits
Sub category: Brandy (eaux-de-vie, cognac & armagnac)
alc./vol: 40

Tesla Šljivo image

Tesla Šljivo

Category: Spirits
Sub category: Brandy (eaux-de-vie, cognac & armagnac)
alc./vol: 42

Dappa Grape Marc Spirit 2014 image

Dappa Grape Marc Spirit 2014

Category: Spirits
Sub category: Brandy (eaux-de-vie, cognac & armagnac)
alc./vol: 43

Adnams Copper House Spirit of Broadside image

Adnams Copper House Spirit of Broadside

Category: Spirits
Sub category: Brandy (eaux-de-vie, cognac & armagnac)
alc./vol: 43

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