Located in France’s northwest, Normandy will forever be known as the location of D-Day, the turning point for the Allies during World War II. Although the sweeping coastline yields plenty of delectable shellfish, farther inland, the pastoral countryside is ideal for growing apples for cider and Calvados, the region’s apple brandy. Berneroy VSOP Calvados ($22, 40% abv) is like tarte tatin in a glass, with mellow notes of caramel and gingerbread spice.
Also of note: Normandy is home to Benedictine herbal liqueur, produced by Benedictine monks in Fécamp, along the Northern coastline. The recipe has been kept secret since its creation in the 19th century.
Courtesy Gregory Saavedra, Gaspar Brasserie, San Francisco
The Black Sands cocktail mixes Calvados and dark rum in a bold, refreshingly minty drink that’s ideal for bridging the seasons.
- 1 ounce Calvados
- 1 ounce El Dorado 5-year-old rum
- ¾ ounce lime juice
- ½ ounce Demerara sugar
- 8 mint leaves
- Mint sprig, for garnish
Combine first five ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well, and fine-strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice. Top with seltzer, and stir lightly. Garnish with mint sprig.