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brandy/ eau de vie etc. in the US

mr mouther Nov 6, 2009 11:25 AM

after an extended time in eastern europe i started drinking a lot of fruit brandies, slivovice etc. i was given a homemade bottle of apricot brandy from a serbian friend to bring home and it's almost gone and im disconcerted becaue it was so goddamn delicious.
ive tried some of the clear creek distillery stuff from oregon and it's all right but nowhere near as fruit heavy as what i was drinking over there. is that the best available here?
what im looking for is stuff that is super aromatic and also super fruity, where the fruit flavor seeps into the gums and the flavor spreads out over many many minutes. i'll happily mail order (i live in california)

  1. i
    isadorasmama Nov 21, 2009 05:50 PM

    A lot of the Haus Alpenz Eaux-de-Vie / Brandys sound fantastic. I can't vouch for them but I'm a big fan of the Creme de Violette.

    http://www.alpenz.com/images/poftfoli...

    1. barleywino Nov 16, 2009 12:17 PM

      have you tried ROthman & Winter Apricot? Better yet, Giffard Abricot du Rousillon is about to be distributed in the US (if it is not already available)

      2 Replies
      1. re: barleywino
        StriperGuy Nov 16, 2009 01:19 PM

        You know, now that you mention it, I have seen that R&T product around Boston.

        1. re: barleywino
          mr mouther Nov 19, 2009 05:40 PM

          i havent tried either or those - will put on the recon spectacles and see if i can find em. thanks!

        2. d
          DavidT Nov 15, 2009 01:31 PM

          Lengthy article on American apple brandies in the 11/15/09 San Francisco Chronicle:

          http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...

          1. p
            pcdarnell Nov 8, 2009 03:38 PM

            http://www.stgeorgespirits.com/
            http://www.hangarone.com/

            If you are in California you should visit the distillery of Hangar One (vodkas) and St. George Spirits (see link). It's at the old Alameda Naval Air Station. They have a tasting area where, for $10, you can taste their eau de vies, vodkas, a whiskey and liqueurs. For an additional $5 you can add a tasting of their absinthe. It's great fun (crowded on weekend however).
            I went last week for the first time and they had pear and raspberry eau de vies and liqueurs. Apparently they use seasonal fruits as it was explained to us. The staff is very knowledgeable. Give them a call and I'm sure they'll answer any questions you have.

            1. r
              rockfish42 Nov 6, 2009 12:10 PM

              Apricot "brandy" isn't really an eau de vie at all it's just an infused alcohol. Try this recipe
              http://kansasa.blogspot.com/2007/08/w...

              2 Replies
              1. re: rockfish42
                mr mouther Nov 6, 2009 01:10 PM

                yah, that's where the "etc." comes in. they called it brandy, and it was listed as brandy on menus in czech, serbia, hungary, austria. some call it schnapps, some eau de vie, brandy, muscat grappa, whatever. i just like alcohol that tastes and smells like fruit. the folks whose homemade stuff i've had was not made with vodka.
                (according to the chowhound article "oh, that eau"
                http://www.chow.com/stories/10725?tag...
                "Distilled fruit is always brandy." anyway, if i wanted a semantic discussion i'd be posting somewhere else

                )

                as far as bevmo, i tried clear creek's pot-distilled apple brandy and was very dissapointed - very thin, very little fruit. i liked their pinot noir grappa, but am reluctant to keep experimenting given the high cost of these beverages

                1. re: mr mouther
                  StriperGuy Nov 16, 2009 06:57 AM

                  I don't know of anyone who sells a product like this in the USA.

                  I remember a homemade anise herbal liquer I had in Spain as a kid and have never had a commercial product that was even close.

                  I would try making some when apricots are in season. That recipe link posted by RF42 looks pretty good.

                  The alcohol you use should not make a huge difference, the flavor comes from the fruit. but if you want to go crazy get some apricot or plum eau de vie and steep the fresh apricots in it. You could alternatively track down some of the more reasonably priced Portugese Aguardente (grappa) and use that as your booze.

              2. l
                La Dolce Vita Nov 6, 2009 11:41 AM

                Have you tried Beverages and More (BevMo)? I live in the SFV, and there is one on Sepulveda, near Burbank. They have quite a collection of fruit spirits, many of which look quite tasty. I bought a bottle of Mathilde pear liqueur from them a year ago, and it is scrumptious -- very fruity, just the right level of sweetness, made in France, I believe.

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