Dutch Eau de Vie

Slow Food Presidium

Netherlands

Distilled and fermented beverages

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Dutch Eau de Vie

The Netherlands enjoys a long tradition of producing fruits distillates, which are known globally as eaux de vie. Distillation practices developed early in the area, as testified by the appearance of the term levenswater (“Spirit of Life” / Eau de Vie) in the works of the 13th-century poet Jacob Van Maerlan. Many Dutch distilleries drew from the abundance of fruits in the area, which includes many varieties of apricots, apples, black berries, cherries, pears, quince and plums.
Because harsh climate conditions like high levels of humidity made it difficult to preserve this abundance of fruit, the Dutch developed techniques to save even the most ripened fruit as an important source of food.
Dutch eaux de vie is still produced using several local fruits varieties, including Ark of Taste varieties like the Morello Cherry, Notary Apple and Cherry Plum, which are grown in small orchards following organic guidelines.

The Process
The fruit harvesting season runs from September to October. Once the fruit has been harvested, it is placed in large outdoor containers and left to ferment for several days to weeks, at an ideal temperature of 18°C. After the fermentation, the pulp is traditionally distilled twice and ripened in a copper kettle which is heated to temperatures in excess of 78°C by a flame beneath. The final distillate has an alcohol percentage of 85%, but before being bottled it is stored in wooden or steel barrels and diluted to between 40-42%.
The duration of the final ripening process in the barrels is at the discretion of the manufacturer: though most wait for two years, it can take a minimum of nine months. Eaux de vie is usually as clear as water, but it can also be a slight shade of brown depending on fruits and the type of barrel used.

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Most modern distillers have abandoned local traditional production methods in favor of more industrial means of production involving the import of foreign ingredients. The Presidium aims to protect and promote those endangered traditional production methods that would otherwise be lost.
The creation of the craft association Genootschap der Warme Stokers (“The Society of Warm Distillers”) brings together several small-scale distilleries from across the Netherlands committed to preserving tradition in their production of eaux de vie. They will continue to distil eaux de vie in adherence to the traditional process (as signed in the Presidium production protocol) and to use Ark of Taste fruit varieties whenever possible.
Launching in 2023, the Presidium will initially be formed of seven traditional small-scale distilleries—producing a maximum of 5000 bottles per year—whose adherence to the traditional warm-flame method makes them part of the craft association.
At the moment, there are approximately 10 traditional small-scale distilleries – maximum 5000 bottles per year - who work with the warm flame identified in the Netherlands, seven of which have been admitted to the craft association, the Genootschap der Warme Stokers. All the distillers work in a transparent way to ensure the highest quality.


Stokerij Lubberhuizen at Varik (www.stokerijlubberhuizen.nl)

Verhage Fruit at Luttelgeest (www.verhagefruit.nl)

De Pronckheer at Cothen
(www.pronckheer.nl)

De Lepelaar at Den Hoorn
(www.texelsewhisky.nl)

Het Laatste Woord at Winterswijk-Corle (www.hetlaatstewoord.nu)

Leon at Stevensbeek (www.vanleon.nl)

Stokerij Mwórveld (www.mworvelddistillery.com)
SF Presidium Coordinator

René Zanderink (zanderinkr@gmail.com)

+31 6 13270672

Producers Presidium Coordinator

Bas Lubberhuizen (bas@stokerijlubberhuizen.nl)
Most modern distillers have abandoned local traditional production methods in favor of more industrial means of production involving the import of foreign ingredients. The Presidium aims to protect and promote those endangered traditional production methods that would otherwise be lost.
The creation of the craft association Genootschap der Warme Stokers (“The Society of Warm Distillers”) brings together several small-scale distilleries from across the Netherlands committed to preserving tradition in their production of eaux de vie. They will continue to distil eaux de vie in adherence to the traditional process (as signed in the Presidium production protocol) and to use Ark of Taste fruit varieties whenever possible.
Launching in 2023, the Presidium will initially be formed of seven traditional small-scale distilleries—producing a maximum of 5000 bottles per year—whose adherence to the traditional warm-flame method makes them part of the craft association.
At the moment, there are approximately 10 traditional small-scale distilleries – maximum 5000 bottles per year - who work with the warm flame identified in the Netherlands, seven of which have been admitted to the craft association, the Genootschap der Warme Stokers. All the distillers work in a transparent way to ensure the highest quality.


Stokerij Lubberhuizen at Varik (www.stokerijlubberhuizen.nl)

Verhage Fruit at Luttelgeest (www.verhagefruit.nl)

De Pronckheer at Cothen
(www.pronckheer.nl)

De Lepelaar at Den Hoorn
(www.texelsewhisky.nl)

Het Laatste Woord at Winterswijk-Corle (www.hetlaatstewoord.nu)

Leon at Stevensbeek (www.vanleon.nl)

Stokerij Mwórveld (www.mworvelddistillery.com)
SF Presidium Coordinator

René Zanderink (zanderinkr@gmail.com)

+31 6 13270672

Producers Presidium Coordinator

Bas Lubberhuizen (bas@stokerijlubberhuizen.nl)

Territory

StateNetherlands