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
217380
Merlet
Creme de Cassis de Saintonge
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
205257
Drouet et Fils
Cuvée Ulysse XO Grande Champagne Cognac
Deep copper color. Interesting aromas of cashew nougat, dried fruits, leather, and floral honeycomb with a satiny soft, fruity-yet-dry medium-to-full body and a long, chocolate orange peel, creme brulee, tropical fruit, and Asian spice nuanced finish. A lively and elegantly flavorful XO Cognac that is sure to please both Cognac novices and connoisseurs.
97 points $124.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203517
Merlet
Crème de Pêche de Vigne
Alluring golden orange color with a salmon cast. Richly dimensional honeyed peaches and cream aromas with a glycerous sweet and fruity medium-to-full body and a long, tangy, peach sorbet, spiced apple, passionfruit, orange blossom water, and mineral finish. Great vibrancy and texture.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
204224
FAIR
Quinoa Vodka
Clear. Very neutral aromas and flavors suggest cream, cake, and minerals with a very soft, dryish light-to-medium body and a exquisitely smooth custard, dried fruit, and limestone accented finish. A superbly silky, elegant, and delicious vodka that is fantastic on its own and will be perfect in cocktails.
96 points $29.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217376
Drillaud
Elderflower Liqueur
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217405
Merlet
Creme de Peche
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
209170
Louis Royer
Extra Grande Champagne Cognac
Dark mahogany garnet color. Rich, complex aromas and flavors of mocha buttercream, chocolate cherry nut fudge, and pencil shavings with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-full body and a smooth, complex, endless finish with elements of cola float, spiced fruits, toffee, and wintermint with well-integrated tannins and moderate oak. A lush and exquisitely flavorful well-aged Cognac with evolving waves of flavor.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
204757
Bertrand
Petite Fine Champagne Cognac XO
Deep reddish mahogany color with an olive rim. Dense aromas of varnished wood, singed nuts, cherry cola, anise, and dried fruits with a supple, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a long, resonant finish with notes of creme brulee, honey, spiced apples, pepper, pencil shavings, and forest floor. Lots of mature, wood aged complexity and panache for very serious sipping or cigars. Make sure to aerate for several minutes.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217644
Monteru
Rare Cask Finish "Sauternes" Brandy
Light gold color. Attractive, fruity, floral aromas and flavors of varnished wood, leather and tea leaves, caramelized roasted nuts and dried fruits, and geranium pear and melon with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, nuanced, medium-long rich spices, minerals, and creme brulee finish. A vibrantly delicious brandy with great flavor and texture.
94 points $57.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217381
Merlet
Lune d'Abricot
Brilliant golden amber color. Complex, attractive aromas and flavors of dried apricot, white chocolate toffee, sesame nougat, and peach blossoms and honeycomb with a syrupy, bright, sweet medium-to-full body and a sleek, elegant, very long apricot jam on raisin scone and hint of chocolate orange peel finish. A superbly pure and flavorful apricot liqueur with great length and depth of flavor.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab