Old Oriental saying: “Each time you try something new it will add seven days to your life”. Here’s at least a month’s worth of sweet extension, what the makers call “the original poire au Cognac.” Not an eau de vie as we know it, like poire William, but a new category: pear Cognac, there is no substitute, no one else is making one. That won’t last, especially not if this takes off as it already has in Europe, and as everyone back home in dear old Stockholm is hoping it will.
Under the X, for Xanté; out of Alsace, home of the greatest fruit brandies and liqueurs. And, according to the marketing department at least, this is a century-old family recipe that has been produced for friends of the family all this time and finally they’ve let it out of the bag, ‘cross the Rhine and into the rest of the drinking world.
It clocks in at 38 per cent alcohol, a little less than most spirits and it comes in a most distinctive looking 750 ml bottle, and it has a distinctive name, what with the X and the accent at the end. It pours a lovely amber-gold colour and soon as you take the cap off the bottle it fills the room with the intense aroma of ripe, golden pears.
How to taste it? Anything new should be tasted neat, first time. And it is gorgeous. But then come the options: coffee or cocktails, after dinner as a digestif, before dinner as an aperitif, coffee-companion, as they do in Normandy with their famous calvados, what they call “consoling the coffee”: finish the last sip and while the cup’s still warm, pour in a little of the spirit ….
Mix it if you like to do that sort of thing, and it carries its own built-in toast in the name: Xanté!