Calvados is one of France’s most legendary brandies and it is produced in Normandy. The spirit starts its life as pear and apple cider, which is then distilled and matured. There are more than 200 different fruit varieties permitted in the production of Calvados, and a combination of bitter, tart and sweet fruit is used for the right balance. Distillation takes place in an Alembic still (for complex Calvados with a good quality for ageing) or a column still (which results in fresh, tangy Calvados). The distilled spirit must then be aged for a minimum of two years in oak before bottling, though much of it is aged for far longer.