Upper Normandy Liqueur, Cider and Calvados
Different liqueurs exist in Normandy, each one having its own flavour, strength and character. The region also has several excellent cider drinks. Upper Normandy's most famous eau de vie in the region is the Calvados aka Calva.
The Calvados eau de vie
This local eau de vie called Calvados or 'Calva' by Frenchmen is obtained when distilling cider from local apples or pears. The fermentation process taks at least one month and produces an eau de vie that is between 40 and 45 % proof. Then the Calvados eau de vie is kept in oak barrels for at least two years.
Calvados is foremost produced in the French Oise department. Other local aperitifs are the Poirette and Reinette drinks, also based on traditional eaux de vie. Other drinks produced in Picardy are listed below.
Top Tip! The traditional Calvados liqueur and Calvados cream also exist, both being light and sweet drinks from the Normandy region, with subtle vanilla and caramel hints that your taste buds will definitely appreciate.
The Normandy Poiré
As its names says (pear is said poire in French), this is a pear liqueur. It is known as a liqueur but is in fact closer to the Champagne drink. The finesse and light body of this fine Frenh drink will really surprise you.
The Normandy Pommeau
This typical Normandy drink is made with apples, more precisely from a mix between apples cider and apples eau de vie called Calvados or Calva. It is wonderful while drunk as an aperitif of with foie gras.
The Upper Normandy ciders are varied and renowned in Europe if not in the whole world. They can boast an apple flavour that is sweet and sour or with a stronger taste, that will then ideally accomany a cheese from Normandy. Some of these ciders are aged in the oak barrels used to produce the Calvados liqueur, this process giving them more strength.