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This bottle was included in a photo I posted on eGullet some while ago, I can't now recall the topic, I do remember though that someone advised me that the bottle should be shown respect and I would be glad of it in the future.




I accept that that my progress is slow. Unfortunately opportunities for cocktails are restricted and the possibilities endless. We now have a fair selection of spirits and liqueurs and we try, when we can, to test different recipes. 


I was given this bottle at least ten years ago by my then next door neighbour in France. I am certain she would have stored it correctly in her cave (in the Loir region many properties have their own cave at the back). Since the bottle has been in my charge it has been stored in a cool dark cupboard. The liqueur was certainly made by a farmer in Normandy. At the time a farmer could distil enough spirit for his or her own use, popping along to the Town Hall to declare how many litres had been made so that he or she could pay the necessary tax. Licenses to do this were passed down to the next generation but I understand this is no longer the case and when a license holder dies the license expires also. There were mobile 'stills' that would be moved between farms where the family didn't own their own. 


The writing on the label states simply "eau de vie des pommes 1975". 


I am of course glad to have the bottle, it reminds me of the very kind person that I lived next to for seven years and from whom I learnt a huge amount, not least about the little everyday things that don't necessarily occur to one when living in a country not one's own.


Unfortunately, despite the time that has past since I was advised to hold onto the bottle, I have absolutely no idea how this eau de vie might best be used and would welcome any advice you might give.


i was about to hit 'Submit' when it occurred to me that the original post was probably on the manufacture of cherries as a garnish for cocktails. I think I had considered using the eau de vie for the task but one of you advised me against. In the end I did make my cherries using a Jacques Pepin recipe, they are so much nicer than the commercial 'neon' alternative.


Looking forward to your suggestions for the contents of this bottle!

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I'm with @liuzhou, I'd pour some into a pretty little glass and serve after dinner with some walnuts, dried fruit and maybe a shortbread or other not too sweet cookie.


You could use a splash to deglaze the pan and flavor a sauce when cooking pork or poultry.  Maybe soak some raisins or prunes in it and include them in a dish.

Pour a little over a scoop of vanilla or cinnamon ice cream for dessert.

Maybe pour a little into a flute and top with a nice sparkling cider. 

Of course, you could also try it in a cocktail that calls for apple brandy like a Jack Rose or Apple Cart, but that would be sort of a waste if it's lovely by itself.


Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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It's eau-de-vie, not a liqueur since no sugar is added. Fermented & distilled fruit. It will last forever in the bottle without special storage requirements.


It's best drunk neat, typically at the end of a meal (or in the middle of a long one for a "trou  normand"...). If it's too intense, you can pour it into a glass, dip a sugar cube in it, let it soak up some of the liquid, and eat the sugar cube. That is called a canard...

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