The French term for spirit is eau de vie, which translates to water of life.
Τhe term fruit spirit is used to describe a spirit drink exclusively produced by the fermentation and distillation of fruit.
Fruit spirits may not be flavored. The distinct and characteristic aroma of the spirit is attributed to the aroma of the fruit itself.
The sales denomination of fruit spirit is “spirit” preceded by the name of the fruit, as for instance cherry spirit or kirsch, plum spirit or slivovitz, mirabelle, peach, apple, pear, apricot, fig, citrus fruit spirit, grape spirit or other fruit spirits.
The most popular fruit spirit in Greece is grape spirit. It constitutes the most sophisticated and refined variant of grape marc spirit (Tsipouro/Tsikoudia). In Greece is called Apostagma Stafylis.
It is produced by the fermentation and distillation of the whole fruit of the grape. The grapes to provide the distillate are not pressed and retain all their juices and, as a result, their characteristics. Immediately after harvest, they are placed into vats and left to ferment under strictly controlled conditions. Only the “heart” of the distillate is in turn separated drop by drop, throughout the slow and gradual distillation of the fermented grapes, in small copper stills. The special characteristics of each variety that stand out owe much to the unparalleled art of distillation, the know-how and experience of the distiller, since the latter can easily bring out the fine aroma of a Muscat or Moschofilero variety or the intricate and dynamic aroma of a Cabernet.
Although their market share today is small, some of the Greek single variety distillates have an added dimension, too: The top bottlings are oak-aged. These can be superlative and as a result command top price.
Enjoy a grape distillate, ice cold in a shot glass or cool in a brandy glass. It is the perfect finish to a rich meal.