Happy Calvados Week!

This week is a celebration of all things connected to the Normandy apple harvest where bars and pubs offer Calvados cocktails, host apple-bobbing events and themed menus all for Calvados Week.

Normandy is considered too cold to grow grapes, instead they favour apple and pear orchards (some seven million trees) from which they produce cider and calvados apple brandy.

Using forty six permitted varieties of apple they will first make a cider before slowly distilling in a Charentais still followed by ageing in wooden vats for a minimum of two years. If the Calvados originates from the best area known as Pays d’Auge it will be double distilled with more control over production. The ageing in barrels is important as over time the Calvados softens, each bottle will have an age indicator to assist you select the style that’s right for you. The youngest at only 2 years ageing is given the name of ‘Fine’, at 4 years it’s called VO or VSOP and 6 years or over is labelled as XO. The other style available is Calvados Domfrontais where 30% of pear has been added to the blend.

Try this distinctive fruity, spicy brandy either neat, with tonic or make yourself an Applejack by adding cloudy apple juice to the Calvados.

Visit a venue participating near you; The Albert Inn in Totnes, Prince Of Wales in Stoke Sub Hamden and The Rams Head Inn Country Hotel in Dolton.

Read all about it....
Every Saturday you can check out April's new drinks page in the West Magazine (Western Morning News' colour suuplement) click here for the latest