Digestifs are drinks that are enjoyed at the end of the meal (in theory to aid the digestion), on their own or with coffee.
Le Gastronome offers all the main brandies made in France, from the well-known Cognac to the more special Armagnac and Calvados.
Cognac and Armagnac
Often people wonder about the difference between Cognac and Armagnac. The obvious difference is the region they come from. Cognac is a vast region between the Loire Valley and Bordeaux, which was a very active port in the 17th century. The Armagnac region is about 300km south of Bordeaux. Cognac very quickly benefited from its geographical position, as exporting was easy. Armagnac remained more of a local product owing to the difficulty of reaching the main port. It is only with improved transport that people outside the region have been able to enjoy Armagnac.
In terms of process and choice of grapes, 98% of Cognacs are made with ugni blanc, whereas Armagnac is usually a blend of 4 main varietals, although it is not rare to have single varietal for Armagnac. If Armagnac is usually distilled once, Cognac requires to be distilled twice, but both are aged in oak barrels. One other difference is the fact that in the Armagnac region, brandies tend to age faster than in Cognac.
We have a large selection of both brandies, from young to seriously old vintages, sourced from two of the best producers in each region: Domaine Montifaud, which is located in the Grande Fine Champagne (where all the best Cognac is produced), and Domaine Dupeyron, which is from the bas Armagnac region, renowned for producing the best Armagnac in France.
- Cognac V.S. (blend of 7 to12 years old)
- Cognac V.S.O.P. (blend of 16 to18 years old)
- Cognac Napoleon (blend of 20 to 25 years old)
- Cognac Vieille Reserve (26 to 37 year old +)
- Cognac XO (blend of 38 to 75 years old in carafes)
- Cognac Hors d’Age (blend of 61 to 90 years old)
- Cognac single vintage (from 60 to 90 years old)
- Armagnac VS (3-5 years)
- Armagnac VSOP ((5-9 years)
- Armagnac Napoleon (10-12years)
- Armagnac Hors d’Age (15-17years)
- Armagnac XO (20-25years) Private Collection
- Vintage Armagnac from 1905 to 1990
Calvados is a traditional brandy from Normandy, made with pears and apples fermented into an 8% cider, which in turn is passed through a still for further fermentation. We stock different types of Calvados depending on the usage, from cooking Calvados, perfect to flavour dishes, to more selective and exclusive brandies.
- Calvados Very Special (40%)
- Calvados Reserve (40%)
Other Liqueurs and Spirits
Giffard has been a liqueur-maker since 1885. Emile Giffard, then a pharmacist, developed a mint liqueur for his customers’ digestive problems. The success of the Menthe Pastille was huge, so he transformed his pharmacy into a distillery. Five generations later the family is still in the flavour business, keeping quality at the forefront of their activity.
The Giffard products are sold around the world in more than 70 countries, through a network of local distributors supplying bars, cafés, restaurants, specialised liquor stores and deli stores.
The Giffard range is wide, from syrups to liqueurs and spirits or fruits in brandy. Their Liqueurs range was created with the idea of offering the consumer the most authentic flavour at any time of the year. The flavours range from classic to more surprising ones. The fruit liqueurs are made with genuine flavours; they can be served by themselves on ice, mixed with wine, white or red, or with Champagne to make a Kir royal, used in various cocktails, or drizzled over desserts.
- Crème de Cassis (blackcurrant – 16%)
- Crème de Cassis Impériale (blackcurrant – 20%)
- Crème de Pêche (peach – 18%)
- Crème de Mures (blackberry –16%)
- Crème de Myrtille (blueberry –16%)
- Crème de Fraise des bois (wild strawberry –18%)
- Crème de Poire William (William pear – 16%)
- Crème de Violette (Violet petal – 16%)
- Manzana Verde Liqueur (18%)
- Caramel Toffee Liqueur (18%)
- Ginger Premium Liqueur (35%)
- Amaretto Liqueur (25%)
- Cognac aux Amandes – Cognac & Almond Liqueur (40%)
- Agave Sec (40%)
Le Gastronome imports a wide range of other French digestifs
- Kirsch extract (16%)
- William Pear Brandy (40%)
- Mirabelle Prune Brandy (40%)
- Cherry (Kirsch) Brandy (40%)
- Grand Marnier (40%)
- Cointreau (40%)
- Litchi Liqueur (19%)
- Niaouli Liqueur (40%)
- Limon Giallo Liqueur (25%)
- Vodka (40%)
- Rhum Blanc Agricole from Martinique (40%)
- Rhum Ambre Agricole from Martinique (45%)
- Pisco (40%)
- Tequila (38%)
- Morello Cherry in Kirsch Brandy (16%)
- Pruneaux a l’Armagnac (16%)
- William Pear Liquor & Pear in a carafe – Giffard (43%)