Apricot Brandy: A Sweet, Fruity Alcohol Everyone Needs To Try

Informational

Apricot brandy and ripe apricots on wooden table

Brandy is a broad category of liquor that has numerous types. Some utilize other fruits rather than the traditional grapes. Among these is apricot fruit.

Apricot brandy is a type of alcohol made from said fruit. It has a sweet, fruity taste and can be consumed straight or mixed in cocktails.

In this post, we'll take a closer look at apricot brandy and some of its intriguing characteristics and uses. So if you want something new to explore, read on! You may just discover a new favorite drink.

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What is Apricot Brandy?

Apricot liqueur in a stemmed glass and fresh apricots on wooden board

Apricot brandy is an alcohol made by fermenting and distilling apricot juice. Sometimes, the apricot flesh and kernels are added to the mash to extract more flavor and various tasting notes.

Despite being labeled brandy, some people get confused about whether it should be appropriately known as brandy or Eau-de-vie. Let's break it down by differentiating the two.

Brandy is a broad term for a distilled spirit produced from wine, juice, or mash from any fruit or vegetables. Usually, if the word "brandy" is used alone, it pertains to grape-made brandies.

On the other hand, an eau de vie is described as a colorless brandy produced by fermenting and distilling. It is a specific name that caters to brandies that are made with any other fruits that are not grapes. With this, it's safe to say that Apricot Brandy is an eau de vie.

However, most of the time, when a different fruit is used for brandy, the bottle is labeled with the name of that fruit before the term "brandy" and not "eau de vie."

Generally, making eau de vie is no different than making cognac or other brandy types, but there are slight differences. For instance, most eau de vie are not aged in wooden barrels; that's why they appear colorless. But other producers opt to age their eau de vie before bottling them.

What Does Apricot Brandy Taste Like?

Apricot brandy in a decanter with fruits and jam

At first glance, an apricot may look very similar to a peach, but the former is actually lighter in color. Tastewise, apricot tastes like a combination of peach and plum. The very flavor of apricot is the dominant taste of true apricot brandy.

Apricots have been widely used in the production of brandies for their sweet and tangy flavor. They also have a taste that's reminiscent of almonds, similar to some Cognacs. Furthermore, this fruit brandy's fresh-tasting sweetness is complemented with zesty notes.

When observing apricot brandy in a brandy snifter, you'll see that its distinctive coloration ranges from orange to amber. This fittingly accounts for the fruit it is made from. But some brands would show a colorless liquid.

Famous Apricot Brandy Brands

Apricot Brandy is usually used in several classic cocktails. This can be attributed to the fact that it's one of the earliest types of brandies produced. In fact, some classic cocktail recipes that include apricot brandy date way back to the 20th century.

It's no surprise that countless apricot liqueurs or brandies are being produced in today's time. If you want the best ones, here are a few suggestions from amazing brands:

1. Giffard

Giffard

This French golden yellow liqueur is made from Rouges du Roussillon apricots. This gives typical aromas like sweetness found in ripe fruit juices and almond notes. Then it develops into a more vegetal-smelling bouquet with spice accents on the finish.

You can also expect to taste a rich and almost jammy flavor that will remind you of caramelized apricots turned into marmalade. This makes it a fantastic and reliable option when you're craving apricot-based drinks.

2. Marie Brizard Apry

Marie Brizard Apry

This apricot liqueur has intense fruit flavors mixed in an exceptionally smooth brandy. On your nose, you will notice rich notes of almond extract and hints that come from the apricot nectar itself.

On the palate, the adventure starts with notes of amaretto which finishes with cinnamon tones. This apricot liqueur is the ideal bottle for people that love a bit of sourness with sweetness.

3. Bols

Bols

This particular expression is one of Bols' most popular, given its high quality and diverse profile. It also comes at an affordable price tag! The recipe for this spirit has been around since the 19th century, which means that they've got centuries' worth of experience making this.

This brandy is composed of crushed apricot kernels, fresh apricot juice, and brandy. The end result is a beautiful amber liquid representing the unique almond and Cognac flavors.

4. Hiram Walker

Hiram Walker

Hiram Walker offers a delicious and delightful spirit that takes inspiration from several varieties of tree-ripened apricots. The various kinds of apricots all have distinct flavors blended well to achieve unmatched complexity.

When you smell the aroma of Hiram Walker Apricot Brandy, strong and rich fruity flavors come through together with notes from various kinds of apricots. The flavor notes also mirror the expression's scents.

5. DeKuyper

DeKuyper

DeKuyper is prominent for its long list of liqueurs, one of which is apricot. Its high-quality expression is made with only the best apricot distillate, crushed kernels, and fine brandy.

The aroma of DeKuyper Apricot Brandy is like no other. The marzipan, almond, and honeysuckle notes engulf your nose with a hint of orange blossom before giving way to apricot and spice flavor notes.

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6. McGuinness

McGuinness

McGuinness Apricot Brandy is produced in Canada and has an inviting sweet aroma that will make you want to try out all sorts of fruity cocktails in a tropical cocktail party.

With a profile so fresh, fruity, and distinctly apricot-tasting, it's no surprise that McGuinness Apricot Brandy has been sweeping the spirits scene. There are several varieties of apricots in each bottle, offering up natural flavors from tree-ripened ones.

7. Rothman & Winther

Rothman & Winther

Rothman and Winter Orchard Apricot is a refreshing apricot liqueur from Austria. It features a natural fresh fruit flavor due to its apricot eau de vie base made from Klosterneuberger apricots.

This makes this drink less sugary, so it can be used in cocktails without overwhelming the drink with too many sweet flavors. For a quick beverage, try mixing this with your best French Champagnes, an excellent wheat beer, or your favorite sparkling water.

8. Jacquin's

Jacquin's

Jacquin's Apricot Flavored Brandy is an elegant and sophisticated alcohol with sweet and complex notes full of dried apricots and will surely delight your senses.

The body is slightly dry but with a deeply honey-covered apricot note while also packing some light pepper notes for added flair! Try it on ice or straight up—either way, you're in for a treat!

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How to Drink Apricot Brandy? 

Two glasses of apricot cocktails with a basket and strainer

As mentioned, apricot brandy can be consumed on its own or as a flavor enhancer for drinks during a cocktail party. If you prefer to consume it as it is, you should go for an eau de vie. This is made from real apricots that would result in a richer but less sweet taste.

On the other hand, some bottles of apricot brandy are made from a neutral spirit then flavored with apricot. If you ordered apricot sours in a bar or restaurant, chances are they are made with this version. These are referred to as brandy liqueur, and they generally taste sweeter.

They are suitable for cocktail recipes that call for an extra flavor boost. If you want to know what apricot brandy tastes like in a cocktail, you can try these delicious cocktails:

  • Apricot Sour - This whiskey sour variation substitutes the whiskey with apricot brandy. It is mixed with lemon juice or sour mix and simple syrup.
  • After Supper Cocktail - As the name suggests, this is a drink that's best enjoyed after dinner. It adds lemon juice and an orange element like orange juice, triple sec, or curacao to the brandy.
  • Angel Face - This is among the cocktails featured in the famed Savoy Cocktail Book and is made of equal parts of apricot brandy, gin, and Calvados.
  • Hotel Nacional Special - If you want a tropical treat, just mix apricot brandy with aged rum, pineapple and lime juices, and sugar syrup for a tasty daiquiri variation.
  • Baltimore Bang - This is another sweet and sour concoction made with apricot brandy, lemon juice, simple syrup, and bourbon. It usually has an orange slice as a garnish.

Apricot Brandy FAQ

1. What Foods Pair Well With Apricot Brandy?

This brandy tastes excellent when paired with desserts with fruit flavors like berries, lemons, and cherries. Spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla also enhance its flavors.

But, if you want something savory or with protein, try making a great chicken and pork dish as it complements the brandy's sweetness.

2. What is the difference between Apricot Brandy and Apricot Liqueur?

The confusion around apricot liqueurs and apricot brandies is undoubtedly understandable, with various types being sold as brandy or liqueur.

The industry uses "liqueur" to refer to the sweetest kind of apricot brandy made from neutral spirits like vodka. Meanwhile, "brandy" is generally used to refer to apricot brandies that are the lesser sweet kind and are made from aged brandy.

3. How many calories are in apricot brandy?

The estimated calories in a 1 ounce serving of apricot brandy is 87 calories. However, the calorie count could still vary within different brands.

4. How much alcohol is in apricot brandy? 

Apricot brandy usually contains a minimum of 35% alcohol by volume or 70 proof, but you will find different bottles with less or more than this amount!

Conclusion 

Apricot brandy has been around for years, and it continues to be a great asset in the drinks scene. Whether you’re mixing it with other alcohols or enjoying it neat, apricot brandy is always a good choice.

If you haven’t tried this delicious drink yet, we suggest you head to your nearest liquor store and pick up a bottle today.

Are there any other liquors that you enjoy as much as apricot brandy? Let us know in the comments below!

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