Essential Guide to French Aperitifs, Mistelles, Liqueurs & Eaux de Vie

Essential Guide to French Aperitifs, Mistelles, Liqueurs & Eaux de Vie (M-Z)

French Aperitifs, Mistelles & Eaux de Vie

  • Macvin du Jura – a mistelle from the Jura region made by adding marc from the Jura region to fresh grape juice.
  • Marca clear spirit produced by distilling the residue (skin, stems, pips) left after pressing the grapes during the winemaking process.Regional variations include Marc d’Alsace Gewurtztraminer, Marc de Bourgogne, Marc d’Arbois, and Marc de Provence.
  • Mistelle – as explained above, mistelle us the name given for a drink that is the result of adding alcohol to unfermented or partially fermented fruit juice (usually grapes). Examples include: Floc de Gascogne, Pineau des Charentes, Pommeau de Normandie and Ratafia.
  • Pastis – an anise-flavoured spirit and apéritif usually mixed with water, examples include Pernod and Ricard.
  • Pavan – a Muscat liqueur made from Muscat grapes sourced from Frontignan in the south of France and finished with a delicate aroma of orange blossom.
  • Pineau des Charentes – a speciality of the Cognac region, Pineau des Charentes is a mistelle, the result of adding fresh grape juice to Cognac; available in white, red and rosé.
  • Poire Williams – an eau de vie made from the Williams pear variety, often with a whole pear inside the bottle, served chilled as a digestif
  • Pommeau de Normandie – a speciality from the Normandy region, a mistelle and traditional aperitif made by adding Calvados to fresh unfermented, apple juice
  • Pousse Rapière – a sweet and aromatic liqueur made from Armagnac flavoured with bitter orange and other secret ingredients, its production is attributed to the Monluc family.
  • Pousse Rapière Cocktail – an aperitif made with one part Pousse Rapiere to 6 parts of vin sauvage.
  • Ratafia – a type of mistelle made by adding marc (or Pomace brandy) to unfermented grape juice.
    • Ratafia de Champagne – from the Champagne region, Ratafia de Champagne is made by adding fresh white grape juice to Eau de Vie de Champagne.
    • Ratafia de Bourgogne – made in a similar fashion to Ratafia de Champagne using grapes from Burgundy.
  • Ricard a pastis (see above), an aperitif flavoured with anise and licorice.
  • Salers – a gentiane-based liqueur often enjoyed as an aperitif or digestif.
  • St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur – an elderflower liqueur with an eau-de-vie base often enjoyed as an aperitif or as a cocktail modifier.
  • Triple Sec – an orange flavoured liqueur dubbed as the French version of Dutch Curaçao.
  • Suze – a liqueur flavoured with wild gentian root, with a spicy, fruity and delicate bitter taste.
  • Vermouth – often served as an aperitif, chilled, on the rocks, or in cocktails.

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Photo by Cocktails & Bars – © Copyright: All rights reserved. Taken at Burrow Bar.

Essential Guide to French Aperitifs, Mistelles, Liqueurs & Eaux de Vie was last modified: November 27th, 2017 by Corinne Mossati
Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of Cocktails & Bars and popular online magazine Gourmantic. She is named in the Australian Bartender Magazine Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The World’s 50 Best Bars Academy who judges the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions. Read the full bio here.