How to drink Calvados correctly.
The method of distillation allowed to increase the degree of many drinks. This was also the case with apple cider. Its distillation led to the appearance of a new kind of alcohol, which was called Calvados. It quickly found its admirers, spreading beyond the borders of Lower Normandy. The name was enshrined in the Rules of Origin Authenticity, approving standards for taste, strength and composition.
- What is Calvados
- Composition and calories
- Calvados Benefits and Harm
- How to drink Calvados properly
- What glass to drink from
- What to snack on
- With what to wash down
- Calvados Cocktails: Recipes
- Angel Face
- Apple to the head
- Apple cobbler
- Angel's hopes
- Apple sunrise
- Hawaiian apple
- How to make Calvados at home
- The classic way of making it
- Fast way for the impatient
- Interesting facts about Calvados
What is Calvados
The alcoholic beverage is obtained by distillation. The raw material is pear or apple cider. Sometimes it is called the French brandy, as the production was established in Normandy. There was the first attempt to make the recipe, which dates back to the 16th century. Only local raw materials are used, which is essential for its authenticity. The preparation consists of two stages. After distillation the product is not yet considered ready, it needs to gain a level of 40-60%, gain transparency, special color and aroma. This is achieved by aging in oak barrels under special temperature conditions.
Legally divided into 3 varieties. They differ in the composition of the base and the strict geographical limits. As with Champagne, a drink is not authentic if it is produced according to the technology, but in a different region.
- AOC calvados is considered to be the largest, with 9,500 producers, of which 400 are large productions, the rest are much more modest in volume. Several variants of the drink are produced, and it is aged in barrels for at least 2 years.
- Calvados Domfrontais does not allow any other inclusions. Only apples are the base. A distinctive feature is the preliminary fermentation for six months. The youngest appellation, known since 1997.
- Calvados Pays d'Auge uses a mixed base of pears and apples. In addition to 40 large producers, there are about 2,500 small companies.
Another criterion for dividing drinks is taste. It can be bitter, sweet and sour.
Interesting: Depending on the length of aging in barrels, drinks are consumed as an aperitif or digestif.
Composition and calories
It is considered normal for the drink to have up to 30% pears added to the apple base, with the exception of Calvados Domfrontais. The composition varies, but only local, aromatic small fruits are taken for processing. About 100 varieties grow in the area, with only 48 selected for Calvados. The main criterion was the intense rich aroma. The technology involves the mixing of several types of alcohol.
In the composition of the drink are present:
- malic acid;
- phenolic compounds;
- B vitamins.
These substances calmly tolerate fermentation, but their amount decreases slightly during distillation.
The caloric value of the product depends on the level of sugar in the recipe, on average is 256 kcal per 100 g.
The benefits and harms of Calvados
Moderate consumption of the drink improves the appetite, increases the elasticity of the walls of blood vessels, stabilizes blood pressure. A therapeutic dose of the drink in 30-50 ml normalizes sleep, relieves emotional stress and fatigue, raises the mood. During the cold season Calvados warms and improves blood circulation.
There are no strict contraindications to the digestif consumption, but it is worth refraining from it for pregnant and lactating women, with exacerbation of gastrointestinal diseases and cardiovascular system, during the course of antibiotics.
How to drink Calvados properly
The French say that the degree of enjoyment of the drink depends on the culture of drinking. Since the birthplace of Calvados is France, it is necessary to take into account the recommendations from Normandy. The first rule is that those aged less than 3 years should be served before a meal. Beverages with 4 or more years of aging are considered digestifs and are recommended to be served between hot dishes. The optimal temperature of the drink is 18-22 degrees. Before tasting it, the glass must be warmed in the palms of the hands, revealing the aroma, and only then is it drunk in very small sips. The other way is considered a violation of alcohol etiquette.
What glasses to drink from
Tulip-shaped glasses with a thick bottom are best. Wine and cognac glasses, 1/3 full, are also acceptable. French brandy-based cocktails require tall, thin-walled glasses. If the recipe calls for lighter contents before serving, choose martinks.
What to snack on
The drink is a strong one, with a 40% proof, which inspires a certain respect and requires an appropriate snack that will reduce the feeling of intoxication and accentuate the taste of the digestif. Connoisseurs recommend as an accompaniment to Calvados:
- white bread;
- freshly squeezed fruit juices;
- ice cream;
- bitter chocolates;
- fruit slices.
True connoisseurs say that only a cigar and a cheese plate go with Calvados, and the rest is superfluous.
With what to drink
Fruit juices, coffee and hot, bitter chocolate go well with French brandy. Of fruit, preference is given to apple, pear, peach, sweet exotic species.
It should be remembered: citrus fruits completely destroy the subtle shades of flavor, giving the drink a piercing acidity.
Calvados Cocktails: Recipes
Its rich fruit flavor with a slight hint of woody notes goes well with juices and liqueurs. It gained world fame in the first decades of the XX century and was quickly appreciated and introduced as an elite alcohol. Cocktails with it are moderately sweet, with a tart flavor and rich aroma.
The creator of the recipe is considered to be the mixologist Harry Craddock. For the preparation, apricot brandy, gin, and Calvados are taken in equal proportions. They are mixed vigorously in a shaker along with finely chopped ice. The mixture is poured into a previously chilled glass and garnished with a slice of orange.
Punch with an apple to the head
It's not known exactly where the name came from, most likely it's not a good translation of the original, but the punch comes with a catch. The strength of French brandy is lost in the whirlwind of juice mixing, but it is there, and we should not forget about it. The cocktail consists of equal parts Calvados, lemon and orange juice, flavored with maple syrup. Prepared in a shaker, served in a cold tall glass.
The subtle flavor and stunning color are truly reminiscent of a luxury car. The refreshing and invigorating effect is gradually replaced by a pleasant warmth and relaxation. The composition includes 60 ml each of Dubonnet wine and Calvados, 200 g of crushed ice, in which 3 drops of lemon juice and a cherry for decoration have been previously interspersed.
Created for the beautiful half of humanity. It is just as enchanting and unpredictable as it gradually changes flavors as it warms. Ingredients:
- apple wine - 60 ml;
- Calvados - 30 ml;
- lemon juice - 15 ml;
- sugar - 10 gr;
- water - 20 ml;
- crushed ice - 190 gr.
Preparation is carried out in several steps. First, the sugar is poured over boiling water, stirred thoroughly and cooled. Fill a tall glass halfway with ice, then pour French brandy, lemon juice, sugar syrup and wine in layers. Swirl the glass around its axis to mix the layers. The decoration is a dwarf apple, a sprig of mint, and a circle of lemon.
Considered one of the most popular recipes, the drink combines the sweetness of liqueur with the tart note of Calvados. The composition includes equal parts gin, French brandy, and orange liqueur. Complemented with ice, served in small thick-walled glasses.
The name of the author of this breathtakingly beautiful cocktail has not survived, which is a pity. This drink will really make a party decoration. For 60 ml of Calvados, take 80 ml of orange juice and 30 ml of black currant liqueur. Add 5 drops of lemon juice and 4 ice cubes. The juice is whisked intensively with the ice. Carefully pour the liqueur into the bottom of the glass, put the juice and ice on top and decorate the rim with a lemon slice. It is served with a straw. A properly prepared drink shows a smooth transition of colors and flavors.
- pineapple juice - 20 ml;
- brandy - 15 ml;
- Calvados - 40 ml;
- pineapple cubes - 15 gr.
Put the pineapple on the bottom of the glass, pour the mix whipped in a shaker on top. Serve with ice.
How to make Calvados at home
In the original version the production includes the pressing of the juice, fermentation, distillation, ageing and blending. The main responsibility falls on the specialists in the selection of fruit and the composition of the ratio of sour, bitter and sweet varieties, taking into account the saturation of the aroma of apples. It takes about 4-5 years to make a batch of a collection, including the period of aging in barrels. Not only the recipe, which is kept in strict secrecy, but also special equipment is required. It is only possible to make a semblance of the drink at home. By the way, it can be almost as good as the original in terms of taste.
The classic cooking method
The most appropriate month is September. This is when the most fragrant, juicy varieties of apples and pears ripen. It is very important to adhere to the basic rules of harvesting:
- Only fruits removed from the branches are suitable, nothing should be lifted from the ground.
- Apples must be fully ripe.
- They are not washed and wiped with a soft cloth so as not to remove wild yeast from the surface.
- Raw material is carefully selected, diseased and damaged fruits are immediately discarded.
Juice is extracted, poured water over the pulp, infused and combined with juice in the proportions of 30:70. If a large proportion of bitter or sour apples, add glucose. The maximum dose of sugar is 15%. Sourdough is prepared from the crushed fruit, water and sugar, after the appearance of foam cap it is combined with the bulk of the juice with the infusion of pulp and placed in a warm place without air access to the container for 1.5 months. Further it is required double distillation and infusion in oak barrels.
The fast way for the impatient
Not many people are able to age a brew for two years in an oak cask, and it's not certain that it will turn out exactly as conceived without the proper experience and equipment. It's much easier to make a small test batch using the accelerated method.
In a 3-liter jar you fill finely chopped apple mass, pour the alcohol and stand for 2 weeks in a dark place. Then the contents of the bank run through a juicer without the formation of puree. Separately boil syrup of 200 g sugar and 50 ml of water. After the syrup has changed color and began to thicken, a thin trickle of squeezed apple tincture is poured into it. The mixture is thoroughly stirred and poured into clean dry bottles.
To give the taste more authenticity, in each bottle is placed pre-matured in alcohol and calcined oak chips. The liquid begins to acquire a characteristic woody hue after 7-10 days.
For the taste to be as rich as possible, sweet red apples are chosen as the raw material. The pips are cut out so that there is no unnecessary bitterness. Allowed to add pears, not more than 30% and selected on the same principle as the apples.
Interesting facts about Calvados
- The drink is named after the region of France where it was first made.
- Calvados is called only those drinks that are produced in a strictly limited region of the country.
- It is aged for at least 2 years in charred oak barrels.
- On the surface of the apples are live wild yeasts, providing a natural fermentation.
- The first mention of distilling cider and making a new drink was made in the diary of Gilles Picot in 1553.
- Apples for the production of Calvados are divided into 4 categories.
- The second name of the drink is French brandy.
- The drink also has a level of aging, which is indicated in stars or apples on the label, similar to cognac.
- Until the middle of the XX century the drink did not cross the borders of Normandy. The fame came to it quickly and put the alcohol in the category of elite.
- The young drink has brighter apple and fruit notes, aged - vanilla and woody.
Calvados is considered a young drink compared to venerable cognacs and champagne. Nevertheless it has already occupied its niche and gained admirers. The volume of production is gradually increasing, which indicates its demand in the market. In every bar, which keeps a mark and offers elite alcohol, you will surely find a bottle of sunny Calvados, which is equally good in its pure form and as a part of delightful cocktails.
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