About French Spirits

About French Spirits
As with wine, French spirits are world famous and of exceptional quality. The types of spirits and liqueurs produced in France reads like a what's what of these categories. There are Cognacs and Armagnacs hat are the most refined and compelling of all brandies. In addition, you have herb liqueurs, spice liqueurs, fruit-based liqueurs, as well as dry and sweet vermouth.

Eaux-de-vie, produced from wine grapes as well as fruit from Alsace, are among the best of their type found anywhere.

There are also gins produced in France and as of recently, vodka as well. Products such as these may not be as well known as those from other countries, but the fact that they are products of France helps give them instant respect.

Top Picks for France

Grand Marnier Quintessence Liqueur
98 points
$899
Clear golden amber color. Aromas of fresh orange zest, allspice, eucalyptus, hibiscus, galangal, and lemongrass with a round, vibrant, moderately sweet medium body and a peppery, very complex, long dark chocolate dipped tangerine peel, persimmon, dried apricot, black tea, lime oil, nutmeg, and underripe pineapple finish. A knockout, musky orange liqueur with a warm, tropical edge and persistent, elegant flavors.
Awards: 2017 Top 3 Best Spirits, 2017 Best Liqueur
Drouet et Fils Paradis de Famille Hors dAge Cognac
97 points
$230
Bronze color. Aromas of sweet ripe mango, creme fraiche, fine leather, polished furniture, cherry fruit leather, and cured meats with a slightly chewy, crisp, dryish full body and a warming, subtle, very long aromatic barks, terra cotta, toasted crumpet, and roasted pumpkin seeds finish. A giant, chewy cognac for the most special of occasions.
Awards: 2017 Best Cognac, 2017 Best Luxury Cognac, 2017 Best Brandy
Merlet Creme de Cassis de Saintonge Liqueur
97 points
$20
Best Buy
Opaque dark violet color. Fruity, herbal, complex aromas and flavors of honeyed cassis, delicate spice and herbs, dark chocolate hint, and root vegetable with a thick, moderately sweet full body and a smooth, complex, very long cassis jam, floral honey, and hint of menthol mint and ginger finish. A fantastically rich and pure creme de cassis.
97 points $20 Best Buy
Nouaison Gin
96 points
$45
Gin
Clear color. Minty aromas of spicy cinnamon candies, violet, peppermint, clove, and rosewood with a satiny, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light body and a peppery, complex, medium-long spice drop candies, juicy fruit gum, salted roasted pineapple, and sage finish. A woodsy gin that will add a sweet and balanced freshness to all manner of cocktails.
Pierre Ferrand Reserve Double Cask Cognac
96 points
$79.99
Best Buy
Golden amber color. Aromas of roasted agave, caramelized pineapple, luxury cigarette, fresh organic pear, roasted pine nuts, coriander, and mustard with a vibrant, fruity medium body and a warming, very complex, very long sweety drop peppers, fine english toffee, and star fruit finish. A sophisticated and finesseful cognac that will delight connoisseurs.
96 points $79.99 Best Buy
Selection Olivier Blanc XO Extraordinaire Cognac
96 points
$180
Amber color. Elegant aromas of rich caramel, teriyaki sauce, roasted nut butter, fruit preserves, and anise with a round, lively, dryish medium-full body and a warming, complex, very long salted peanut skins, black tea, warm earthy spices, and menthol finish. An exceptionally balanced, powerful, and lengthy cognac for whiskey lovers.
Awards: 2017 Best XO Cognac
G’Vine Floraison Gin
95 points
$42
Clear color. Confected aromas of watermelon candy, spumoni, ripe honeydew, sage, banana taffy, vanilla-lavender, and bubblegum with a silky, bright, fruity sweet light-to-medium body and a delightful, medium-long Douglas fir, white peppercorns, and Fuji apple finish. A boldly fruity gin with a great mouthfeel for contemporary cocktails and summertime fun.
Drillaud Elderflower Liqueur
95 points
$17.99
Best Buy
Pale slivery straw color. Herbal, floral aromas and flavors of potpourri, piney herbs, candied rose and lavender, and grapefruit peel with a satiny, tangy, sweet medium body and a smooth, complex, long candied kiwi and lychee and melon sorbet finish. A bold, vibrant elderflower liqueur with complex layers of flavor.
95 points $17.99 Best Buy
Merlet Creme de Peche Liqueur
95 points
$20
Best Buy
Brilliant golden amber orange color. Pure, fresh, fruity aromas and flavors of ripe whole peach, peach cider, and floral honey with a glycerous, vibrant, moderately sweet medium body and a tingling, involved, very long rose water, mango-peach sorbet, and pink peppercorn finish. A fantastically rich and flavorful peach liqueur for all applications.
95 points $20 Best Buy
Courvoisier XO Cognac
94 points
$150
Brilliant copper color. Nutty aromas of ripe red apples, plum tart, almond butter, and toasted coconut with a round, vibrant, fruity medium body and a warming, complex, very long leather, cacao nibs, dried hen of the woods mushrooms, smoked paprika, and cured pork finish. A spectacularly complex cognac that offers a layered flavor journey for the palate; experiential.
Awards: 2018 Best XO Cognac