We met with Pierre Guillotte to discover the Pommeau de Normandie, this mistelle-like aperitif alcohol obtained from the blending of unfermented apple juice and calvados.
Pierre Guillotte is a producer of pommeau and Calvados in Normandy. We’ve met him several times over the past few years to discover and reveal the secrets of apples in spirits… think Calvados, and even other more curious liqueurs like 44.
Today we are going to talk about the Pommeau de Normandie, what it is, its origins and how to taste it according to Pierre Guillotte.
Interview with Pierre Guillotte: what is the Pommeau de Normandie?
Spirits Hunters: Tell us a little about the origins of Pommeau
Pierre Guillotte: The origin of Pommeau de Normandie was copied from Pineau des Charentes in 1968. Produced in the Pays d’Auge, it was only recognized in 1991 with the AOC Pommeau de Normandie. Pommeau is made from unfermented apple juice, thus cider, and a quarter of Calvados. We call it mutage, because it prevents fermentation.
The pommeau has beautiful colors with mahogany highlights and aromas of caramel apples with notes of honey with a nice body and structure from 14 months of aging in oak barrels at least.
Spirits Hunters: What apple do you make the pommeau from?
Pierre Guillotte: I make my Pommeau from a variety called Bedan because it makes a very red and very sweet cider, it is truly ideal for Pommeau. This variety is very sweet, it gives a sweet cider. When it comes out of the press it almost looks like oxblood…
Spirits Hunters: What is the alcohol content of Pommeau?
Pierre Guillotte: In general the Pommeau is between 16 and 17 degrees.
Spirits Hunters: How can we taste the Pommeau de Normandie?
Pierre Guillotte: the best way to drink the Pommeau de Normandie is very fresh, but be careful not to put ice cubes because it will be a diluted cloud and it will lose the intensity in taste.
In Normandy we like to drink it with foie gras, oysters, Norman cheeses such as Camembert, Pont-L’Evêque, Neufchâtel or Livarot, of course, and all chocolate or apple desserts, and as you know I like it with my melon.
Spirits Hunters: can we drink Pommeau in cocktails?
Pierre Guillotte: here in Normandy we have a cocktail that we prepare very simply: it’s 70% apple juice and 30% Pommeau, but again, no ice! It’s very light so we can taste two or even three…
I taste it myself as a dessert. I cut the melon in small pieces that I put in a small bowl then I sprinkle it with fresh Pommeau. I taste it with a big spoon to have a good dose of pommeau in each spoonful. It’s my own little pleasure!
Other kinds of tastings
Le Trou Normand (The Norman hole): it is a gastronomic custom which consists in drinking a small glass of calvados between two dishes with apple ice. It is said that it helps digestion and opens the stomach again. Calvados is nowadays more and more often served with an apple sorbet during festive meals. By extension, the trou normand is composed of a sorbet or an ice cream drizzled with brandy.
You can meet Pierre Guillotte at the cider farm Ferme du Vieux Presbytère in Manche / Bolleville (50250).
If fine goule you will come
In Livarot certainly.
Our good products will buy
For all reputed succulent.
Tripes primées apprécieras
And cochonaille evenly.
Brié bread, Meat you will like
As well as the Cidre gouleyant
Cream, Butter esteemasspecial-affineur2.jpg (3779 bytes)
As well as crispy Bourdin.
As dessert you will choose
The Livarot will prefer
“King of Cheeses” surely.
Our Calva will require
To taste in “Trou Normand”.
Your friends will supply
Whether they are gourmets or gourmands
Of our shopkeepers will judge
The excellent smiling reception.
Discover the Spirits Hunters weekly newsletter.
Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.