3.27.2010

Eaux de Vie (Eau de Vie)

It's said that back in the 17th century, an Alsatian monk boiled some fermented cherries in the hopes of producing an elixer to cure cholera. He named it "eau de vie" or"water of life." It may be a tall tale, but for several hundred years, the Alsace region has been producing unsweetened fruit brandies called eaux de vie. (Not to be confused with liqueurs.) This legacy continues in France, Switzerland and Germany and, more recently, on America's West Coast.  Eaux de vie are arguably one of the world's finest digestifs and are silky, with a heady aroma, a taste of fruit and they pack a powerful wallop; it's almost like biting into a ripe fruit.


My daughter Tracy was home for a few days last week and we got into a discussion about eaux de vie (pronounced oh duh vee) and how much she enjoyed it when she lived in Paris. This is not going to be news to you European bloggers because it is commonly on your wine menus and many of you probably have a bottle or two at home. We are not so fortunate. Tracy has asked for it frequently in New York City restaurants but few include it on their wine list. Because I knew very little about it, she suggested I blog about it.

And so we did some investigating while she was visiting here. Five wine stores later we found one lonely bottle. And it was French, rather expensive and a poire (pear) eaux de vie. In a couple other places we got blank looks, but in most we were told there was no demand for it so there was no reason to stock it. My daughter said she can find it in her favorite wine shop in NYC- Chambers St. Wines  so it's available at your better wine merchants, especially for you lucky people on both coasts. Another helpful manager suggested we try www.winesearchers.com to see who carries it in Florida. Guess what? Hardly anybody. It may be offered more frequently in restuarants on the west coast because there are some distilleries in Oregon and California that produce it. And there are some mail order opportunities as well. I'll give you
their websites later in the post.

But back to my story. In the heart of Alsace, eaux de vie is produced in profusion. The many fruit flavors include: Poire (pear), framboise (raspberry) Mirabelle (yellow plum), fraise des bois) wild strawberry), quetsch (purple plum),prunelle (blackthorn or sloe plum), even sapini (pine buds) and gratte-cul (rose hips). Really, the flavors can be just about anything. There is also a Douglas Fir and a rosemary-infused eaux de vie.



The rules that apply to the production of these white alcohols in France are quite strict: absolutely no sugar but there is no requirement that the raw material be locally grown. So the raspberries may come from Romania and the mirabelles from Lorraine, where summers are cooler and plums ripen slower resulting in more flavor. The quality of the fruit is what makes a premium eaux de vie. The fruit has to be free from bruises or cuts. So it's of prime importance to have fine fruit to start with.


It takes 8 hours of continuous distillation to turn fermented fruit into eaux de vie. The fruits are mashed and fermented and then distilled twice in traditional copper pot stills that render a clear, intense spirit.


After distillation, the new eaux-de-vie rest a few months to become mellower, smoother and rounder, while developing a complex, many-faceted character, but really without anymore aging than that.


It takes about 20 pounds of mirabelles, 18 pounds of wild raspberries and 30 pounds of pears to make one bottle of eau-de-vie. Connoisseurs, and of course Alsatians, argue that their fruit alcohols are superior to those made in Switzerland and Germany. Those countries, they say, allow artificial fruit essences to be added. Eaux de vie are strong, hovering around 45 percent alcohol. They are very pure, the Alsatians say, because they have none of the chemical or color additives normally added to Cognac, Armagnac and Calvados.

Another way to describe eaux de vie is to say they are the anti-vodka. The point of vodka distillation is to remove all the flavors; the point of eaux de vie is to preserve as much of the original fruit as possible. Because it is a digestif, it is usually served after dinner. But in Alsace, the locals often sip them with cheese, or with one of their tarts. They should be served cold but never over ice. And serve them in chilled glasses. What's important is that the glass and the eaux de vie be the same temperature so as not to shock them.

There is also something called a poire prisonniere. Unlike other eaux-de-vie, poire prisonniere captures the fruit itself. Early in the growing season, when the pears are just forming on the trees, glass bottles are tied over some of the most promising buds. The pear grows inside the bottle, and when it is ripe, it is cut from the tree-still in the bottle. Both bottle and pear are washed and pear brandy is added. The whole pear is in the bottle you buy, its beauty and flavor completely intact. Some French firms say this doesn't change the flavor one bit and one says: "C'est un gadget". (It's a gimmick)




My daughter, son and I had a tasting of our purchase the other night.  We had been advised to use either small brandy snifters or some small tulip shaped glasses, which I have. The initial sniff was of fresh pears. The first sip takes your breath away. (This is strong stuff!) And the aftertaste is pear. It was delicious! But be careful, remember this is a digestif, not something you gulp down and ask for another.


In the meantime, satisfy your craving for fresh fruit and find some "water of life". Who knows? It may stave off a cold!

Did you think I was going to leave you without a recipe today? Nay, nay. And it's a dandy too.

Eaux de Vie Pear Compote with Eaux de Vie Pear Sorbet
From Pastry Chef Alba Estenoz, ZINC Modern American Food


 Ingredients for compote:

6 Bartlett or Anjou Pears

Juice of 1 lemon
2 Tablespoons Poire Eaux-de-Vie
½ cup Sugar
2 Tablespoons Butter
¼ teaspoon salt

Method for compote:

Peel pears and cut into small dice. Toss with lemon juice. Caramelize sugar in pan over medium heat. First the sugar will melt, then crystallize, then begin to melt again and turn golden brown. When it is completely melted, add the butter and salt. Then add pears and you
will find the caramelized sugar will seize but that's OK. Stir a bit and then add Eau de Vie and continue to cook until pears are slightly translucent and much of the fluid has dissolved. Remove from heat, cool, serve at room temperature or refrigerate until you are ready to use.

Ingredients for Pear Sorbet:


1 ½ cup water

1 ½ cup sugar
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
4 ½ cups ripe pears, diced and peeled
½ teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons Poire Eaux de Vie

Method for Pear Sorbet:

Combine water, sugar, syrup and salt in large saucepan. Bring to boil; add pears and simmer until pieces are very tender. This took about 45 minutes. Let the mixture cool slightly; puree in blender or food processor; use caution when blending hot mixtures in blender or food processor.

Cool puree for at least 3 hours; freeze.
Serve frozen sorbet with pear compote; compote should be served at room temperature.


For those of you who would like a video expanation:




Here is Food and Wine's list of the best eaux de vie producers, plus some additions from other sources. You can check out these websites and find out where you can buy locally or order online.


Clear Creek Distillery

Steve McCarthy founded this Portland, Oregon–based distillery in 1986, when he decided to experiment with his family’s pear crop. He now produces seven kinds of eaux-de-vie from local fruit, including blue and Mirabelle plums. clearcreekdistillery.com. (Top Picks: Kirsch (cherry), Blue Plum, and Douglas Fir


Peak Spirits
This new western-Colorado producer buys only organic fruit grown within 20 miles of the distillery, including pears, cherries and the Rosa and Cresthaven peaches it uses for its summery peach eau-de-vie. peakspirits.com.


Purkhart
This Austrian distillery makes the deeply flavored Pear Williams eau-de-vie and the excellent Blume Marillen (“Blossom of the Apricot”), a floral, apricot-based brandy with fruit from the Danube Valley. alpenz.com.


Reisetbauer
Many think fastidious Austrian distiller Hans Reisetbauer makes the world’s best eau-de-vie (at up to $170 a bottle, it’s priced accordingly). Reisetbauer’s enormous portfolio includes classic eaux-de-vie varieties and bottles featuring unlikely flavors like carrot, ginger and the piquant rowanberry. reisetbauer.at. (Top picks: Pear, Plum, and Rowanberry (complex, with fruit and marzipan notes); also Ginger and Carrot (both are fascinating, if not typical flavors for an after-dinner drink)


St. George Spirits
Alsace native Jörg Rupf, who founded this Alameda, California, distillery in 1983, has helped spread the eau-de-vie gospel to many other microdistillers. In addition to crafting cherry, pear and raspberry eaux-de-vie, St. George offers experimental brandies, including one derived from Thai basil. stgeorgespirits.com


Meyer
Alsace, France; Top picks: Kirsch (cherry, with a delicious touch from the cherry stones) and Quetsch (dark red plum


Etter
Switzerland
Top picks: Fruit Tree Blend, Zuger Kirsch Three Year Old (cherry)


Westford Hill
This 10-year-old Connecticut-based distillery bottles four kinds of premium eaux-de-vie, including the fragrant Pear Williams, made from ripe Bartlett pears. westfordhill.com.


The two most well known firms on the west coast are St. George Spirits (http://www.stgeorgespirits.com/) and Clear Creek Distillery. (http://clearcreekdistillery.com/index.php) Both of these sites will list stores where their wines are available to those of us who can't find them locally.

Photo credits for this post:
http://www.cocktailia.com/articles/clear-creek-distillery

http://www.eaux-de-vie.com/

Source information for this post:

http://www.nytimes.com/1998/04/01/dining/eau-de-vie-fruit-s-essence-captured-in-a-bottle.html?pagewanted=1
http://www.sallybernstein.com/beverages/spirits/eau_de_vie.htm
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1365/is_n9_v23/ai_13869737/http://www.cocktailia.com/articles/clear-creek-distillery
http://www.cocktailia.com/articles/clear-creek-distillery

http://www.nytimes.com/1984/08/26/travel/alsace-s-eaux-de-vie-pack-a-fruity-punch.html
http://www.eaux-de-vie.com/

81 comments:

  1. Very interesting post! I love learning new things about food and drink! I'll have to check out the Sarasota area, we have a few good wine shops in town. There are only two fruits that I don't care for and pear is one of them. I hope I can find framboise (raspberry)eaux de vie! Thanks again!

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  2. I loved reading your post! Very informative and the method of making poire prisonniere is so interesting! I will have to see if I can find some pear brandy! I sounds delicious and your recipe does too.

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  3. This was a great post! I really enjoyed reading it. Very thorough. Your photograph is quite beautiful.

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  4. The first crudely distilled beverages were known in Latin as Aqua Vita= The water of life...

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  5. Wow, that pear sorbet looks amazing. The pear in the bottle may be a gimmick, but I think its beautiful. I once saw a TV show that showed how they do it. They tie all these bottles onto the tree when the pear is a little baby and it just grows in there. The tree looks kinda funny with all the bottles on it, but I think the end product looks beautiful. And truth be told, I'm a sucker for some nice packaging.
    Hope you have an amazing weekend daaaaaaaahling.
    *kisses* HH

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  6. That is so Cool Barbara. The Sorbet looks and sounds so goog thanks for the history lesson.

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  7. Thanks for the lesson in eau de vie! I didn't realize that it had to be unsweetened. Great dessert!

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  8. Barbara, this is a lovely, informative post. We will be in the Black Forest at a B & B the first week in May where they make their own Kirschwasser. I am so looking forward to this. I learned a lot from you.

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  9. Ooh, now I must try this Eau de Vie! Unfortunately, no one near me sells it if that winesearcher website is relaiable. Darn it!

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  10. Brilliant brilliant brilliant!!!!!! I loved this post. I never knew what I didn't know about eau de vie! I always loved the pear in the bottle and have had the raspberry before... now I have to get some to make this perfect recipe. May I also say, the people at St George are wonderful.. If you write me I'll give you a contact there. Their absinthe was celestial, and their cognac superb and I'm dying to try their other products. Thanks for the great work!

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  11. BRILLIANT Barbara, just brilliant! Smart kids too! And that sorbet is really calling my name - will make it soon but I'm certain I'll have the same issues in tracking down the Poire Eaux de Vie - difficult in my neck of the woods . . .

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  12. you have absolutely stuffed my mind for the day! This post was so informative - I loved it!

    I probably wouldn't like to drink these too much. But bake with them - yes ma'am. This sorbet looks lovely!

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  13. I'm going to spend part of my spring break seeing if I can find some around here! Love your silver tray, by the way!

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  14. Barbara,
    Great post, so informative. I have Poire William and use it most often in pear sorbet. Now I'll keep my eye out for other types of Eau de Vie.
    Mimi

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  15. Interesting post, Barbara! My French half of the family is from the Lorraine region and I lived there for three years. There are definitely many different types of eau de vie! Poire Williams and Mirabelle seem to be the most popular, and I know a lot of people whose grandparents or parents actually make their own batches.

    I'm not really much of a fan of eaux de vie on their own--too strong for me!--but I've used ginger eau de vie in desserts with much success. It's nice to know there's a tiny bit of interest for them in the US--you should start an eaux de vie import business for Southeastern states!

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  16. Such a wonderful post! However, I'm not a good drinker. I probably will get drunk in just a few sip! haha.... Have a great weekend, Barbara!
    Cheers, Kristy

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  17. this is certainly a thorough and well-written post, barbara! you've helped me cover my quota for learning a new thing each day for the entire week!
    the dessert you've featured looks refreshing and elegant. so lovely!

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  18. Lyndsey: Perhaps you can find an accidental bottle like we did. It appears most everything would have to be mail ordered from someplace.

    Susan: It was an education to discover the difference between pear brandy and pear eau de vie. Not the same thing.

    Wanda: Thanks!

    BD: After tasting this, I must admit it WAS water of life!

    HH: I have a bottle of pear brandy (not eau de vie) bought years ago in Northern Michigan from an obscure vintner that has a pear in it. Very pretty and I have never opened it because of that. So I knew how it was done.

    Bryan: The sorbet is heavenly!

    Natashya: It's not at all sweet.

    Susan: That sounds like such fun. I hope you'll tell us about it when you get back!

    Karly: Try some good wine shops in your area. You might find an odd bottle or two.

    Deana: Praise coming from you is high praise indeed! I really did not spend nearly enough time on this subject!

    Avery: Cheat and use pear brandy if you can't find an eau de vie.

    Joanne: Yes, it was really strong! Only for sipping.

    Pam: Bet you find it someplace...remember, it should say eau de vie on the bottle. Pear brandy is entirely different.

    Mimi: Yes, I've used pear brandy for a couple recipes. If you don't find the eau de vie, you could use your brandy, but the flavor is different. Not sweet.

    Lucie: My daughter much prefers mirabelle and was disappointed we didn't find it.

    Kristy: It's very strong!

    Grace: The dessert was divine. The pear sorbet is silky smooth and delicious.

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  19. Thanks for the recipe and all that info. A pleasure to read....

    I wanted to tell you that now that I have had the English Cucumbers, I plan to use them, all the time, also. They are far superior.

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  20. A very interesting post! Thanks for speaking about a speciality that we also have in Switzerland... My grandfather made his own "schnaps" (prune liquor and Kirsch).

    That ice cream looks so delicious!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  21. Eaux de Vie sounds fantastic! Isn't it amazing how much fruit goes into one bottle...wow! Your pear sorbet looks so light and refreshing, and absolutely perfect with that pear compote!

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  22. Very interesting post! I love to learn new things!!! We have a new wine and spirits store in town, I will have to see if they carry any of these!

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  23. Ooooh! These bottles look really pretty. Who knows, you may have sparked a nationwide adoration of oh duh vees. :) The pear sorbet sounds delicious. So the rule is you have to start with unblemished, perfect fruit...and then SMASH them? Hahahaha. Well, they must know what they are doing, because these look great!

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  24. What a fabulously informative post. Thanks so much for sharing with us ;)

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  25. Hi Barbara,

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful post and great to know a little more about these Eau de Vie.
    I have bought Kirsch before for my Chocolate Gateaux.
    Your pear sorbet sounds delicious and thanks for sharing the recipe.ep

    Have a wonderful week
    Hugs
    Carolyn

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  26. Sweet and Savory: I laughed because I forgot to tell you I put all those ingredients in a big pitcher of water...set it in the fridge overnight and strain it to drink it.

    Rosa: I am sooo jealous!

    Faith: That pear sorbet is smooth, dense and heavenly!

    Julie: I wish you more luck than we had!

    Bella: I know, isn't that funny??

    Kathleen: I learned a lot just doing it.

    Carolyn: The dessert was so much better than I expected! Hope you can find some in your area.

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  27. I learned so much reading this post - thank you!

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  28. Great post Barbara! I had been looking for a great eau-de-vie in local liquor stores and found none so I abandoned my quest a few years back. During the twenty years that my family lived in France I remember every time we would be invited to dinner at someone's house, they would pull out the special eau de vie from their cupboard and at the time I did not think much of it! Thanks to your investigative report I now know how special they actually are!

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  29. Barbara, I love all your posts, as I always learn something, but I must say this is my favorite.! I love eau de vie, I have a bottle on my bar with the pear in it and it is just beautiful to look at and delicious to sip. Through this post I learned so much more about the process. I usually add two tablespoons to the pan while making my poire tatin, I have no idea if it improves it or not, but it is delicious. Now for your pear sorbet, I can't wait until my pear trees are ripe with fruit this summer, I will definitely be making this sorbet to serve along my pear tatin.
    ( I also cover cherries with brandy and sugar and leave them in a cool dark place for 6 months and then use them for cocktails...but this would not be a eaux de vie???)
    Enjoy your evening
    Bunny

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  30. Barbara, these are a lot of interesting facts I learned in a day. So much information to fill up the many gaps in my brain!

    And of course, the pear sorbet looks soo appetizing.

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  31. oh this was great! i love the pics!

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  32. I love the sound of Eaux de Vie-fragrant fruit drink with no sugar. I never see anything like this in restaurants around here. Ooh, and that sorbet sounds extra wonderful.

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  33. great post---they sound so delish..I would to try the yellow plum..oh what a great shot of the one with the pear inside..glad you found a bottle to enjoy with your daughter..

    sweetlilfe

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  34. Your sweet daughter was absolutely right- m so thrilled with this post and reall happy to read about it:-))
    Im more of a pepsi drinker and usually the most i would like is a vermount or martini with lime juice n sugar in it.....
    For a potluck ,while was nursing a drink i was with a can of u know what :-)))
    though i'll have some fun...picked a flute, added some sugar sweetenned ,squeezed with lime, wine over ice cubes ,and some sliced strawberries and a strawberry slice and lemon wedge to the rim of the glass,while i did that and walked into the hall....well guess what ...i was making those for the rest of the evening :-))))lolol...

    I love dessert wine ,thats sweet ,even if its overly but a recent one i had at a wine fest ,where i was actually hanging around the food stalls,but somebody who didn know i aint muc up to wine specially dry,offerd me a wine glass, i took it outa courtesy and actually loved it- it was an austrian dessert white wine.....\

    Ur post today has evoked all these memories in me,and u know i am jus going to look out for these fruity wines....something tells me i will love them :-)))0
    LOve ur journey with ur daughter in findn them and the recipe is so so good...I mean a sorbet and compote with Eaux de Vie...pears....and ur food dtyling rocks....ok i am hopping with my food right over at ur place...and i have so many reasons....
    love u and florida...ur dear daughters around and yeah this post gives me a pic of whats in store:-)))

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  35. Ok i did exceed my space way too muc there so thought i'll break in a little....u brought me suc sweet memories with this frutiy brandy and though i aint a brandy lover [for cooking and baking-hi5],id love to try this one if i spot it somewhere,we have a few impoters or maybe some resort will have this one...but am on the look out for the water of life...the best one i like is poire prisonniere....amazing ...tingling natural flavours at its best:-)))

    Ok,however ''gross''this may sound to a fine water of life lover,i know jus how i will tackle the no sugar part:-))))

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  36. Ooooo - pear sorbet - yummy!

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  37. Aimee: You're welcome!

    Joumana: You sound like my daughter! But she can find it in her NYC wine shop, just not in restaurants.

    Bunny: It would be super with a tarte tatin! And no, anything with sugar in it would NOT be eaux de vie.

    Rylan: Difficult to describe how good the pear sorbet was. And so easy... no churning.

    Teresa: Thanks!

    Stella: The pear sorbet is divine!

    Sweetlife: My daughter said the yellow plum was her favorite when she lived in France.

    Mia: I'm so glad you enjoyed the post. It's not my usual kind of posting. We can thank my daughter for talking me into it!

    Anita: Absolutely!

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  38. Interesting post! I've heard of it but never had it before. Your post makes me want to track some down for a taste!

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  39. What an interesting post Barbara! I never knew about the history or porcess of making eaux de vie. Even though it may just be a gimmick, I've always had a weakness for those bottles with the whole pear in them. Stunning recipe too. In fact, I'm dying for a glass now but have to go to work so better not.

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  40. A great post, Barbara. Clear Creek Distillery is located right here in Portland and I am very familiar with their wonderful products. I'm looking forward to trying your recipe. I now have a greater appreciation for something I see every day.

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  41. Very cool! Thanks for writing all about the process...how awesome!

    And I didn't know your daughter and I had the same name :) Yay!

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  42. I know nothing about wine, or any type of sophisticated beverage for that matter, lol. But this stuff sounds divine. Now I want to try some!

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  43. What lovely and nice Post dear Barbara, I love it! gloria

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  44. Dishesdone: It was fun doing a post like this!

    Vanessa: No doubt you can get all the eaux de vie you want!

    Cathy: I am jealous!!

    Blonde Duck: Glad you learned something new!

    Phoenix: And I didn't know your name was Tracy!!!

    Dionne: It's divine all right...but strong!

    Gloria: Thank you! You are always so sweet!

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  45. Great post! The pear compote and sorbet look fabulous - I'm going to keep my eye out for eau de vie at the shops in my neighborhood (I'm in nyc, but unfortunately nowhere near Chamber St Wines!).

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  46. Barbara - this is the most wonderful post. I love learning new things when I stop in here! It's always a lovely surprise! Thank you.
    Susan

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  47. Wow Barbara, this is such an informative and fascinating post. I've heard of eaux de vie before but have never had a chance to taste it. This post makes me want to go on my own quest :) And yay for pear recipes, we're entering pear season now, so perfect timing!

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  48. Fantastic post Barbara! You've gone into so much detail and it's really fascinating. Now I just want to seek some out :D

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  49. Hi Barbara,
    I so enjoyed your wonderful informative post. Whilst living in Bavaria "Kirschwasser" was alwys in our drinks cabinet and here in Normandy we are never without a bottle of Poire William.
    Thanks for the recipe too, I may try it soon when our US visitors are here.
    ~Maggie~

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  50. Nancy: I'm sure you'll find eaux de vie in lots of wine merchants in NYC. Just that Chambers is close to my daughter. I'd love to know if it is commonly carried...let me know, will you?

    Susan: What's fun is this was a lovely surprise for me too!

    Shaz: The sorbet is wonderful. I would love it with other fruits too!

    Lorraine: And I bet you'll find it!

    Maggie: Let me know what you find!

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  51. I just think it's funny that it took me until I was 10 to figure it out!

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  52. Very interesting post,:eau-de-vie is totally new to me, but I think I'd like to eat 18 pounds of wild raspberries rather than drinking them in just one little sip :)

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  53. What a grand & informative post!! Now, yet again, I learned a lot!! You are the best teacher!!

    That pear sorbet with the fruits looks so special & tasty too!!!

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  54. What everyone else said. Thank you so much for sharing... I'll have to hope I can find some locally. Maybe the wine warehouse?

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  55. Blonde Duck: It's a wonder someone at school didn't clue you in!

    Francesca: Oh, I don't know....think I'd rather have a raspberry tart and sip a little of this with it. ;)

    Sohpie: The pear sorbet was heaven!

    Chan: You are so funny! We did not find it at Total Wine; maybe your warehouse booze place is bigger.

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  56. Eau de vie is hard to find in the US. We enjoyed it very much when we were in France. I found a bottle in a store when we lived in the Bahamas, but no telling how long it had been there.
    Sam

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  57. I love the look of a pear grown in a bottle. Hopefully, eau de vie will become more popular here. Great information!

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  58. I love posts like these where I can learn so much - thanks for sharing the great information.

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  59. Thank you so much for this in-depth tutorial! I've seen poire prisonniere before and have always been curious about it. There's still so much to learn in our wide world of food and drink!

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  60. This was fascinating, and I don't even drink alcohol. I love how it's incorporated into a grown-up childhood treat.

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  61. Sam: Yes, it's hard to find, although the east and west coasts seem to have more of it.

    Lisa: That would be nice, but I'm not too hopeful!

    Jan: Thanks!

    TangledNoodle: It was fun to learn about eaux de vie!

    Sophia: It's pretty strong too; took my breath away. Definitely just for sipping.

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  62. Barbara, this a fascinating post! I like the idea of eaux de vie as the anti-vodka that celebrate natural flavors versus extracting it.
    It's amazing to think that it takes 20-30 pears to create one bottle.
    Magnificent!

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  63. Ooooo how very French...love it! And I love how you weave stories into your recipes and food recommendations!!!

    :) T

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  64. Perfect and so refreshing. Thanks for sharing your finding Barbara!

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  65. Fascinating to learn about eaux de vie and what a refreshing beautiful dessert with sorbet!

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  66. Thanks for this interesting information Barbara!

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  67. Christine: Amazing, isn't it?

    Tracey: Very French!

    Elra: Pleased you enjoyed it!

    Natasha: The pear sorbet is divine and would be super over any fruit.

    Lecia: I loved doing it!

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  68. Hi Barbara,

    thanks for visiting me today.
    Just want to say that my recipe for Hot cross buns is listed below my Easter post, (you might also like ) ~ I hope you try them they are really delicious and the smell in the kitchen wonderful!

    Have a happy & blessed Easter
    Hugs
    Carolyn

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  69. What a great informative post! I never even heard of this brandy, but it sounds really delicious. And gosh, that sorbet sounds dangerously good!

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  70. Thanks for all the info! And I have been looking for Poire Williams for ever, supposed to be great in desserts like yours.

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  71. Carolyn: Thanks....I hadn't seen it!

    msmeanie: It was news to me, too. Glad my daughter told me about it!

    Chanel11: I did a blog using a pear brandy a while back...much different because it was sweet. Eaux de vie is not sweet. But let me warn you, this dessert is, because there is a lot of sugar in it! The sorbet would be delicious over some unsweetened berries.

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  72. That is such an eye-opener info on eau de vie. I am a big fan of fruit wine so I am sure I would love this. Must check in local stores in Bangkok whether they carry any.

    And the recipe is wonderful, should really give it a try.. Thanks for sharing!

    Sawadee from Bangkok,
    Kris

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  73. This is such an informative post (and tempting recipe I might add). Thank you for bringing Eaux de Vie to my attention (and its proper pronunciation). I will keep an eye out for it next time I'm wine or liqueur shopping!

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  74. I just wanted you to know you're a lovely Invisible Friend.

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  75. Dear Barbara I want whish you a very,very Happy Easter, huggs gloria

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  76. Thanks for such an informative post and sharing a lovely recipe.

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  77. St. Georges Spirits makes awesome stuff. I have a bottle of their absinthe and their calvados. It's amazing how the herbs and fruit shine through so prominently in them, unlike so many other mass-produced spirits.

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  78. Thanks for the interesting infoand great pics

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  79. Thanks for visiting my blog! I really like mirabelle and kirschwasser - at one of my favourite French restaurants I will often have an eau de vie instead of a dessert!

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  80. I am really impressed along with your writing skills and also with the format on your blog.

    eaux de vie

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