Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Spirits >
Nov 6, 2009 11:25 AM

brandy/ eau de vie etc. in the US

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. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. 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.

    1. Apricot "brandy" isn't really an eau de vie at all it's just an infused alcohol. Try this recipe

      2 Replies
      1. re: rockfish42

        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"
        "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

          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.


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

          1. 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

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

              1. re: barleywino

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