Calvados is an apple brandy, and a delightful conclusion to an evening meal. Calvados is distilled from specially grown and selected apples, of which there are over 200 named varieties. It is not uncommon for a Calvados producer to use over 100 varieties of apples.
Calvados is the basis of the tradition of le trou Normand, or "the Norman hole". This is a small drink of Calvados taken between courses in a very long meal. Calvados can be served as apéritif, blended in drinks, between meals, as a digestive, or with coffee....or just because there's nothing on television!
A tot of Calvados is especially beneficial in settling the stomach after a heavy meal – at least that's my excuse, and it works for me.
High quality bottles of Calvados are something you may not want to share, but to keep for private consumption, maybe on a quiet summer's evening.
Well-made calvados should be reminiscent of apples and pears. The longer the calvados is aged, the more the taste resembles that of any other aged brandy, and the more it becomes golden or darker brown with orange elements and red mahogany.