Fruit Brandies, Liqueurs, & Grappa
Craft-method fruit brandies are made by carefully fermenting a batch of whole or crushed fruit, then distilling the results on a pot-still. Using craft methods of distillation captures the rich complexity of the fruit itself. Unaged fruit brandy is also called by the French term eau-de-vie, “water of life.”
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OLD SUGAR DISTILLERY Ruddy Fox Sweet Vermouth
Wine infused with botanicals and spices, fortified with brandy, then sweetened with Door County, Wisconsin cherries and Belgian Candi sugar
750 ml / 18% abv
Fruit-based liqueurs are made by a maceration of fruit in spirits, or by adding brandy to a fruit juice or to a wine or cider made from fruit, which is called “fortification”. Brining a liqueur to roughly 20% alcohol preserves the rich taste of its fruit and keeps the liqueur from oxidizing. Getting the percentage right is a tricky line to draw. Good liqueurs capture fruit’s wonderful lusciousness without being overly sweet, which almost all big brands are. Many well-known liqueurs are over 30% sugar; almost all of them save money by using mediocre fortification material. www.germain-robin.com
OLD SUGAR DISTILLERY Honey Liqueur (Dry)
Midwest-grown dark brown beet sugar. Aged in small lightly charred oak barrels. Sweetened with pure Wisconsin honey. A dry (not syrupy) liqueur.
750 ml / 40% abv
CRISPIN`S Rose Liqueur
Crispin's rose liqueur is back in stock after almost a year, waiting for good roses, which Crispin Cain grows up on my ranch. Well, we got them. This is the best yet. Crispin macerates fresh-picked rose petals, picked by hand at 6AM for utter freshness, in a brandy distilled up at the old ranch (from a blend of apple juice and a hand-crafted mead made from honey). This batch is exceptional: when you're holding a fresh rose under your nose, you know that kind of rose dust texture? I don't know how Crispin preserves it in an infused spirit, but it's there... You can spend half an hour simply smelling it. This was Robb Report's Best Liqueur in 2011. SPIRITS JOURNAL: “Unbelievable authenticity. Unforgettable bouquet. WOW.”
375 ml / 25.4% abv
FIRELIT COFFEE LIQUEUR
The best there is. Jeff Kessinger developed the craft-method infusion/cold-press procedure with the help of James Freeman of Blue Bottle coffee. Each (tiny) batch is from a single-origin arabica bean: Batch 9/Papua New Guinea Batch 10/aged Himalayan, Batch 11/Brazilian Beans
750 ml / 30% abv
OLD SUGAR DISTILLERY Americanaki Ouzo
Double distilled from a fermented mash of midwest-grown dark brown beet sugar. Twice infused with star anise and seed anise, both at the head of the still and again prior to bottling
750 ml / 45% abv
GERMAIN-ROBIN Absinthe Superieure
Almost all green absinthes are made with artificial coloring.Former Germain-Robin apprentice Crispin Cain from Greenway Distillers leaves his absinthe in its beautiful state of nature. It's based on hand-distilled apple-honey brandy using the antique Germain-Robin cognac still. Cripsin infuses it with wormwood, rose geranium, lemon balm, fennel, hyssop, lemon verbena, star anise, and lemon peel. This transparent absinthe is subtle, complex, absolutely beautiful. This is the real thing, not that stuff that needs a sugar cube to make it drinkable. Scarce.
375 ml / 45.2% abv
Made from the entire grape, not just the normal pomace residue. These grappas are not the horrors people make in their back rooms, or by adding water and sugar to crushed grapes that have been lying around too long. Good grappas are intense, but they’re also beautifully flavored. www.germain-robin.com
GERMAIN-ROBIN Grappa of Syrah/Zinfandel
Germain-Robin distiller Corley had 2 small lots of wine, both great, and combined them to get enough to distill one batch 0f grappa. These are favorite varietals: lush fruit, precise Zin structure, deep Syrah presence. An earlier Syrah was Wine & Spirits Mag's Grappa of the Year.
375 ml / 43% abv
GERMAIN-ROBIN Grappa of Viognier
Utter succulence. Distilled from old-vine grapes, all apricot & peach/pear. The 2001 release from these grapes was awarded the highest score The Wine Enthusiast has ever given a grappa: 97. “Very floral, surprisingly delicate, noticeably smooth” – Press Democrat 2013
375 ml / 43.2% abv
Out of Stock
GERMAIN-ROBIN Grappa of Zinfandel
Spicy fruitiness and a remarkably clean Zin structure. We are happy to be back in stock with a favorite Germain-Robin grappa (they skip years when the grapes aren't good enough). This bottling was distilled in 2003. An earlier version won a Gold Medal at Monterey.
375 ml / 41.4% abv