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Exploring the World of Fruit Brandy: Beyond Grape Brandy

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When talking about different types of alcohol, we can’t miss fruit brandy. This is one of the spirits that many people know and have been loving for years. There are some great brandy cocktails, that you can add to your permanent or seasonal menu

Building a great beverage inventory is of the utmost importance when you are running a business in the hospitality industry. From stocking up on quality spirits like whiskey, rum, gin, and vodka to building an incredible wine list - there’s a lot to do when you comes to your beverage menu.

When you add the varieties of the different spirits and wines into the mix, it gets even harder to narrow down your options. To help you with that, we have many different articles on our website giving helpful information. And here, we are going to dive deep into the world of fruit brandy.

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The Different Types of Fruit Brandy

The classic brandy that you can find anywhere is made of grapes. In fact, Cognac and Armagnac, which are made in France and are among the most popular kinds are made from distilled wine. 

Brandy, however, especially fruit brandy is made all over the world and there are many different kinds. Below, we have listed 10 of the most popular fruit brandy kinds that deserve more attention, especially in bars and restaurants. 

Key Takeaway: There’s a wide variety of fruit brandies that are made in different parts of the world. Various fruits can be used in the production process, which means there are brandies with different flavor profiles.

1. Lambig

Lambig is a fruit brandy aged in oak barrels and distilled from apple cider. Once the brandy is distilled, it ages for several years in the oak barrels and this is what gives it the beautiful amber color. It has a pleasant aroma of apple and warm spices, as well as nuts and distinct spicy and woody notes (see also: spicy spirits). 

This fruit brandy is best served as a digestif spirit or an aperitif and consumers need to sip it slowly to appreciate its unique taste. 

2. Applejack

People often call Applejack the oldest American spirit. It’s an apple brandy that probably originated during colonial times. There’s a theory that it was first made as a cider that was fermented and then frozen. Then, the liquid that did not freeze was consumed. 

However, this technique, which is known as jacking or freeze distillation is no longer used. In 1698,  William Laird went to New Jersey and started distilling apple brandy. 

3. Williamine

This is a type of fruit brandy that was distilled from William pears, hence its name. It was first made in Switzerland, in the city of Martigny. There’s a bottle of the fruit brandy with a higher price that comes with a whole pear inside the bottle. 

Williamine is a transparent spirit that’s with intense fruit flavors and aromas of ripe pears. This fruit brandy has a 43% ABV. It’s a great aperitif, as well as digestif. It can be used in a lot of cocktail drinks, too. 

4. Abricotine

A clear and colorless fruit brandy that has a dominant apricot flavor and nuances of almond - this is the Abricotine. This beverage is distilled from fermented Luizet apricots that are suitable to go through the distillation process. 

The end result is cut with water to achieve a 40% ABV. This fruit brandy is a great digestif and it’s best to be served well chilled. It’s also a great addition to cocktails and some desserts.

5. Slavonska šljivovica

The Slavovian plum brandy is the most popular beverage in eastern Croatia. It’s made of locally grown ripe plums, which were cultivated in this region for centuries. The drink can range from light yellow to amber, depending on whether it was aged in oak. 

It has plum aromas and its alcohol content is between 37.5% and 42.5%. This drink is deeply integrated in Slavonian traditions and it’s present at every gathering or special occasion. 

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6. Poire Williams

Another kind of fruit brandy that deserves attention is the Poire Williams. It’s distilled from fermented Williams pears. It’s a clear and colorless spirit that comes from countries like Switzerland, France, and Germany. You can often find bottles of this fruit brandy with a whole pear inside. As expected, the aromas are predominantly of pear. 

7. Medronho

The Medronho is a Portuguese fruit brandy that’s distilled from fermented medronho berries. These berries are growing wild in the Algarve region. The production of this spirit is not that well-regulated and there are still some producers that don’t own a license for the production of this drink. 

The Medronho is a clear and strong drink that’s a great digestif. It was found in Portuguese places mostly until recently. 

8. Kirschwasser

This is a clear and colorless fruit brandy. It’s made of double-distilled fermented cherry mash. Originally, it was made of sour morello cherries and it first appeared in Schwarzwald (Germany), where these cherries are typically grown. 

Nowadays, this drink is produced mostly in Austria, Germany, Alsace (France), and Switzerland. They use different cherry varieties. And because the cherry pits are actually crushed and used too, this fruit brandy is characterized by a mild bitter-sweet finish. 

9. Šljivovica

The famous drink coming from Serbia is a clear liquor made of fermented plums. You can find this type of fruit brandy all over the Balkans and surrounding countries like Croatia, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungry, Polan, Czech Republic, and Romania. 

Depending on personal preference, this drink can be distilled one or multiple times. When aged in oak, the color, flavor, and aromas significantly improve. This drink is deeply integrated into local culture and many people make their own. However, there are now big producers from which you can get bottles for your restaurant business. 

10. Calvados

This is a fruit brandy distilled from apple cider or a mixture of pears and apples. The fermented liquid is often double-distilled to make the brandy base. It’s then aged and after that - blended. 

Calvados is produced under strict regulations and the end product is classified according to the length of the maturation process. The minimum aging period is two years. 

More Things to Consider

When you are selecting brandy types for your beverage menu, you should also consider the possible food and brandy pairings. When you match the right type of brandy with the right kinds of dishes, customers will enjoy their meal even more. And although it is not on the list of requirements, beverages can help you win the heart of customers and earn a Michelin Star.

There are plenty health benefits of brandy, which you can use in your restaurant marketing campaigns. Don't forget to also educate yourself on proper brandy storage, so you can give your customers the best possible experience.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Fruit Brandy

Want to know more about fruit brandy? Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers, which will help you learn even more!

What Types of Fruit Are Commonly Used to Make Fruit Brandy?

Common fruits used to make fruit brandy include apples, pears, cherries, plums, apricots, and grapes. Different countries and regions produce various brandy types, based on the fruits they grow most. 

Does Fruit Brandy Have a Strong Fruit Flavor?

Fruit brandy often has a pronounced fruit flavor. It can range from the bright and tart notes of apple brandy to the sweet and rich flavors of cherry brandy. The fruit used to make the brandy can always be sensed. 

Is Fruit Brandy the Same as Fruit Liqueur?

Fruit brandy and fruit liqueur are different types of spirits. Fruit brandy is typically a clear, distilled spirit with a strong fruit flavor. Fruit liqueur, on the other hand, is a sweetened and flavored spirit that often includes additional ingredients like sugar and spices.

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