Deep in the woods of Petersham, MA, a mile from the Quabbin Resevoir, the road turns to dirt. Nestled by the pond is a small distillery making brandies from the best of New England and regional fruits. Eau de Vie, or "Water of life," captures the essence of the fruit at its ripest moment. Unsweetened, it tries to express the best that the fruit has to offer. The fruit comes from farms in Central Massachusetts and from other regional producers in New York.
Aged Apple Brandy
Fresh cider is fermented without the addition of sulfites or preservatives. Once fermentation is complete it must be distilled immediately to prevent spoilage. It is distilled twice, the second time at approximately 170 proof brought down to 120 proof before being rested in oak barrels for at least one year. Bottled at 80 proof, it had caramel and vanilla flavors over an apple finish.
Apricot Eau de Vie
The most aromatic of the brandies. Almost like perfume. Intense fruit with a mellow finish. Only 50 bottles made.
Cherry Eau de Vie
Tart cherries from New York orchards are depitted, and fermented with the pulp. The distillation is of the entire mash skins and all making a strong aroma of cherries. Only 150 bottles made.
Slivovitz (Un-Aged Plum Brandy)
Enjoyed throughout Eastern Europe it is made from the blue prune and damson plums. A unique aroma with a bit of a bite. It is distilled at 140 proof and bottled at 84 proof. 150 bottles made.
As a young man out of college, Jerry wandered with a backpack in rural France. By chance he saw a sign for a tasting of Eau de Vie. He had no idea what it was but it amazed him. He didn’t know that fruit could be captured in a bottle. Life intervened, but now he's come back to search for that tantalizing aroma of the bright spirit, and the fresh fruit.
The distillery overlooking the pond is a mix of copper, steel and wood. The copper still, made in Germany for brandy production can only hold 50 gallons at a time. This means that every batch is hand crafted and slowly distilled, catching the heart of each run.
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