A nice surprise this week was finding a little local grocer's in Picardy with a fine selection of local spirits. We counted fifteen in the window - and there were more inside.
First we tried the Poirette de Picardie. Pear juice is left for three years in oak barrels with 'eau de vie de cidre', cider spirit. (Basically, if it was made in Normandy it would be Calvados.) There's sweetness, a little tartness, a hint of pear taste. Picardy farmers also make Reinette, using apples instead of pears this way; I haven't tasted that. Yet.
Then we tried creme de peche de vigne. (Actually not the brand I've linked to, but a 'craft' product.) The peche de vigne is a particular type of peach tree that grows in vineyards - hence the name. Now I've had peach brandy before and found it usually far too sweet; but this is nice, with a delicate flavour, and fine aromas, and almost no sugary feeling at all. Just right for the long, light evenings we're beginning to get.