This week is National Calvados Week (for more information and events check out http://www.nationalcalvadosweek.com/) and I am rather a fan. Any one who has ever spoken to me about the French apple brandy will know that I am very keen on keeping it in my hipflask during the winter—the spicy apple note is cosy and comforting and the spirit is thoroughly warming. It takes the edge off the world; after all, isn't that the point of a hipflask?
Given this affinity I decided to mix up a special Anglo-Franco flask utilising another warming spirit notably King's Ginger. The recipe is simple:
4 parts Pere Magloire VSOP*
1 part The King's Ginger
Add to a hipflask (preferably a pewter one)
In the interests of thoroughness in experimentation these tasting notes were taken after the hipflask had been in my pocket for an hour, to warm up, and was sipped after an early-morning frosty stroll.
The dry, fruity apple is complimented by the contrasting sweetness of the liqueur but on the finish the sweet spice of the spirit and the ginger combine and mix together for a warming after-glow. After a long walk across frozen heathland few thinsg will warm the cockles as well as this.
* Some details on Pere Magloire
Pere Magloire is a Calvados Pays D’Auge, which means that is subject to even more regulation than regular Calvados. It has to be made in the Eastern part of the Calvados region, and Pere Magloire is made in the village of Pont l’Eveque. In addition to the rules defining Calvados AOC, Calvados Pays D’Auge must be made from cider that has fermented for at least 6 weeks and must also be distilled twice (double distillation). In the theory of distilling, the longer fermentation (consuming more sugars) and the double distillation should lead to a cleaner, dryer, smoother, and higher quality spirit.
Nose: Fantastic—very engaging and enticing; rich apples with just a hint of acidity, reminding me of refreshing, still cider. Also, hints of spice and vanilla.
Taste: A well-rounded spirit and one that leads on well from the nose. Dry, crisp apple with a little sweetness in the middle, along with hints of toffee, caramel, cinnamon and nutmeg, which provide an impression of spiced baked apple. It has a warming finish, but no burn; as you continue to sip, a pleasant, cosy warmth builds in the chest. Just what you need on a cold, rainy day.