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
219029
Grand Marnier
Quintessence Liqueur
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217380
Merlet
Creme de Cassis de Saintonge Liqueur
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
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 Liqueur
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
222555
Monteru
Chardonnay Single Grape Brandy
Brilliant light gold color. Attractive aromas and flavors of fresh pannetone, vanilla honey buttercream on graham cracker, nougat and candy corn, and banana custard pie with a silky, bright, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, intricate, long creamy toasted meringue, caramelized stone fruits, and delicate spices finish. A wonderfully creamy and effortlessly drinkable brandy that will appeal to wine drinkers.
94 points $47.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222190
Merlet
Soeurs Cerises Cherry Brandy Liqueur
Dark garnet color. Fruity, earthy aromas and flavors of perfect sour cherries, forest, sunflower, and warm spices with a round, lively, moderately sweet medium body and a graceful, interesting, medium-long hint of coffee finish. A bright, delicious and pure cherry liqueur reminiscent of a homemade visnovka; a fantastic European-style cherry liqueur.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219026
Grand Marnier
Cordon Rouge Liqueur
Bright amber color. Spicy aromas of dried apples, rice pudding, ginger, and orange marmalade with a syrupy, lively, sweet medium body and a peppery, captivating, medium-length pumpkin tart, burnt sugar, nutmeg, hot cinnamon, and ginseng-mint finish. A spicy, complex liqueur that will find its place in a multitude of craft cocktails.
94 points $39.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab