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The scoop on calvados

We take a closer look at the tasty French tipple that doesn’t give the planet a hangover
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Avallen calvados

This article first appeared in our Organic September issue of My Green Pod Magazine, published 08 September 2023. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

We’re all getting smarter when it comes to the environment – but have you ever thought to question the gin in your G&T? Or the vodka in your martini?

Like all things, even our favourite tipple has an environmental impact.

Spirits and the environment

All spirits start life as agricultural products, most of which are grown in fields. The issue is that gin, rum, vodka, whisky and tequila – the most popular and widely available spirit options – are almost always made from industrial monocrops, which are a far cry from how mother nature designed her ecosystems.

Monocropping involves planting and growing one variety of crop across a huge area of land. This is great for maximising yield, but it harms biodiversity and is a net emitter of CO2.

Monocropping also leaves the land entirely reliant on chemical pesticides and fertilisers, some of which end up in our air, streams and rivers.

Calvados is different for a number of reasons; the apple brandy – produced in Normandy, France – is made from apples grown in traditional orchards, which might just be one of the most sustainable ingredients from which to distill a spirit.

A climate-positive spirit

The Normandy orchards that grow Avallen’s apples suck CO2 from the air and lock it up in their trunks, roots, branches and the soil for the rest of their lives. They benefit the local area and are integral to production methods that work alongside nature, rather than against it.

These sustainability credentials are why Avallen decided to launch a modern take on calvados: a fresh, vibrant spirit that does a lot of good for the planet.

Avallen has been able to prove its spirit is climate positive; each bottle sequesters more carbon from the atmosphere than it produces.

The spirit is made from over 40 varieties of apple from 200 different orchards. The only other ingredients are water and time, making this one of the purest spirits out there.

The bee-auty of apples

As well as being climate champions, Normandy’s apple orchards are also a haven for biodiversity. They are quite literally buzzing with life – home to healthy populations of wild bees that pollinate the apple trees.

Bees have been declared the most valuable living being on the planet, and they’re critically endangered.

Avallen’s impact-led production methods nurture the orchards and their wider habitats, and 2% of the company’s revenue is donated to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

Add to that B Corp certification, apple pulp labels and the option to buy Avallen in a game-changing paper (yes, paper) bottle, and you start to get a picture of the extent to which Avallen is driven by its environmental ethos.

How to drink calvados

20 October will mark World Calvados Day, and to celebrate Avallen has shared the recipes for two of its favourite calvados cocktails.

Alternatively, get crafty in the kitchen by adding some French flair to your cooking – give your tarte Tatin a decadent twist with a splash or two of Avallen!

AVALLEN & GINGER
50ml Avallen
150ml premium ginger ale

Method:
Build in a highball glass over ice

Garnish:
Apple slice

HEDGEROW
40ml Avallen
10ml apricot brandy
15ml fresh lemon juice
5ml sugar syrup
Top 50/50 ginger beer
& dry cider

Method:
In a highball glass filled with ice, add all ingredients except ginger beer and cider. Gently stir the drinks. Top with half ginger beer and half cider.

Garnish:
Candied ginger and lime

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