An eau-de-vie (‘water of life’) is a brandy made with any fruit, with the exception of grapes. To ensure their fruit character, most are bottled with no ageing. Eaux-de-vie are made with a staggering variety of raw ingredients – you think of a fruit, and you can bet that at some point, someone will have tried to make an eau-de-vie from it.
Eaux-de-vie are best served chilled at the end of a meal. For stone fruits such as apricots, peaches and plums, the method of production is akin to most other brandies: the fruit is crushed and fermented into wine before distillation in a pot still. For fruits without stones, the usual method of production is maceration, where the fruit is immersed in neutral alcohol before distillation.
It is worth pointing out that many generic products calling themselves apricot or cherry brandies are in fact liqueurs, the ingredients having been only macerated and not distilled.
Typical Character and Style of Eau-de-Vie