French world-class spirits

Pastis

Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Marseille, Toulon

Sun and herbs combine to form the most famous Provence appetizer, Pastis. Pastis anise-based spirits and licorice has well-kept secrets that reveal the mouth a multitude of flavors.

Traditionally composed of natural plant extracts macerated in alcohol, star anise and liquorice, pastis is heir to a long line of aniseed aperitifs. Trading herbs has been practiced as a living tradition for centuries in this region.

Each pastis brand creates its own recipe of real “cocktails” of plants adding some spices. These are complex and subtle aromatic mixtures, which secrets are all well kept.

Anise, fennel, thyme, rosemary … With pastis, these are all flavors of Provence appetizer! To give expression to this aromatic richness, pastis is poured directly into a pure ice cold water.

To vary the flavors and colors, take one full glass with a dash of syrup, one other with mint for a cocktail called “parrot”, add orgeat to get a “Moorish” or grenadine for a “tomato”. Remember to always consume in moderation.

Like many other spirits, pastis is also used to cook when flaming shellfish, marinating meat sauce or flavoring a dish.

 

Cognac and Armagnac

Poitou-Charentes

Armagnac Gascon and Cognac Charentais are obtained through distillation of white wine and developed in the rules of the distillery art.

Following a long process of maturation to develop characters and aromatic treasures, colorless and very fragrant brandies are distilled and put into oak barrels before being stored at room temperature and specific humidity.

The age on the label refers to the youngest brandy entering into the composition of a bottle. For vintage Armagnac (minimum 10 years in barrels), the year of harvest is the one mentioned.

Young  grades are usually fruity while more refined aromas are more woody. These exceptional products offer multiple opportunities to meet. Our suggestion would be to have it pure or on ice as an aperitif or otherwise as a digestive to accompany poultry, cheeses, spicy dishes and flaming desserts.

 

Other spirits

Basse-Normandie, Haute-Normandie

Made with fruits or plants, prepared according to local tradition, you can find an enormous variety of spirits in this particular French region. As brandies, liqueurs or creams, each has its own local specialty and its own history.

Just like many spirits, brandies, liqueurs and Calvados draw their character and perfumes in the countryside, orchards of French mountains. Typical drinks are closely linked to the land with all its fruits, ciders, plants and roots… to eat in moderation.

The Norman apples

They are distilled to produce cider and the famous Calvados. After a minimum aging in oak barrels, this brandy is appreciated as a digestive in “Norman hole” in the middle of the meal, or “knob”, mixed with apple juice to drink.
Williams pear

For plum, raspberry or cherry kirsch … After fermentation or maceration in alcohol, these fruit brandies are reserved in tanks, except the old plum (in barrels) and although traditionally eaten at the end of the meal, they are also used in baking and even cooking.

Liqueurs and creams are specific sugar flavoured spirits. Orange peel, cassis, mint, gentian …There is a big diversity of fragrances for different uses: pure, in cocktails, in a flaming dessert…

 

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This entry was posted on Friday, July 26th, 2013 at 1:46 pm and is filed under French Regions, French spirits . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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