What’s shakin’, cocktail fans? Welcome to Episode 236 of The Modern Bar Cart Podcast!
This time, we’re joined LIVE, IN-PERSON, and on the ground at Tales of the Cocktail 2022 by Stephan Kopp and Henry Preiss. Stephan joins us all the way from Switzerland, representing Fassbind Eau de Vie, Switzerland’s oldest distillery, and Henry is the Founder and CEO of Preiss Imports, a company that brings some of the world’s best distillates and liqueurs stateside so that bartenders and educated consumers – like you – can enjoy them.
In this tasting and fireside chat, some of the topics we discuss include:
- The heritage fruits, sourcing practices, and protected designations of origin that set Swiss brandies and eaux de vie apart from the other fruit distilling traditions in Europe and elsewhere in the world.
- The difference between a “wasser” and a “geist” spirit, particularly as it applies to the types of fruits used and how those fruits are turned into potable alcohol.
- The venerable, yet poorly-understood tradition of adding dosage (or “bonificateurs”) to aged fruit brandies to impart consistency on the end product, as well as establish a unique proprietary fingerprint on the flavor profile.
- Why resting eaux de vie in stainless steel tanks is an integral part of the production process – not only from a flavor perspective, but also as insurance against the occasional poor harvest.
- We also discuss the notions of “purity” vs. “complexity” and “seasonality vs. consistency” in these laser-focused fruit eaux de vie and their aged, slightly fortified brethren.
- Along the way, we explain how to take your cocktail program to the next level using fruit brandies, why Henry thinks a great gumbo and a great eau de vie aren’t so different, how to make a perfect cheese flower, and much, much more.
If you run a bar program, or if you’re just a curious enthusiast who loves a good fruit brandy, we hope you’ll check our Fassbind Eau de Vie to see how you can get your hands on a bottle, and we also hope you’ll take a moment to peruse the other amazing spirits that Preiss Imports has made available here in the US.