Avallen Calvados, the new eco-friendly apple brandy, launched last week at sustainable cocktail bar Nine Lives, near London Bridge station, where we were treated to several cocktails made with Avallen Calvados and delicious food from Blo Deady.
These days there are so many spirits and brands around that it seems almost impossible to stand out from the crowd. Avallen Calvados, however, manages this with ease.
Calvados is still a bit of a dark horse in this country and not on everybody’s radar, but it deserves a rediscovery, revival or simply a place on the shelf behind and on the menu of every respectable bar. And Avallen Calvados is the calvados I would choose, as I love not only the taste, but the ethics behind the brand.
Let’s talk about the taste first. Aged calvados reminds me of cognac, of which I am not such a big fan (long story, but it involves a school trip to Budapest, a long time ago). Avallen Calvados is different in this respect, it is young, aged in French oak barrels for just two years (the minimum to be allowed being called calvados), and it maintains a fruity flavour and crispness, which is lovely. I does not contain any added sugar or caramel and is made, as the owners proudly proclaim. with nothing more than apples, water and time.
But founders Tim Etherington-Judge and Stephanie Jordan, both veterans of the alcoholic drinks business, are not just intent to bring calvados back to the bars, they do so with the aim to make their Avallen Calvados a sustainable product, and, at the same time, make a positive impact on the wild bee populations in the markets where it is sold.
They explain, that Calvados is by far one of the most sustainable spirits in the world made from over 300 varieties of apples and pears, cultivated in a well-orchestrated eco-system whereby the orchards, cows, birds and bees work in perfect harmony. It is this biodiversity that inspired them to build a program to help bee populations around the world with their #BeePositive message, donating €0,50 of profit for every bottle sold to organizations dedicated to restoring and protecting the most important of insects as well as a commitment to plant 100,000 wild flowers over the next 3 years across the globe in aid of helping our forever declining bee population.
The bottle has been selected for its bartender friendliness but also as it is one of the lightest on the market ensuring a reduced carbon footprint from shipping. The label is printed on recycled apple pulp paper (the rest of the pulp is distributed to dairy farmers to feed their herds) using only sustainable dyes minimizing the impact on the environment. Avallen Calvados is produced in La Manche region of Normandy, France, who’s local council have been pesticide free since 2016.
For more information, please visit www.avallenspirits.com