Sofitel Manila's Le Bar welcomed me and my friend to a fine dinner featuring Christian Drouin Calvados vintages.
Starting off with fine cocktails, we met the gentlemen who brought Christian Drouin Calvados in the Philippines. As we sipped the smooth cocktails and exchanged pleasantries, we were introduced to the world of green apples in Normandy, France. Indeed, the precious bottles of Calvados are not considered wine, but brandy. These are spirits produced from distilled green apples. Around 70% alcohol content which they had to lower to be able to make it perfect for drinking.
As I sipped my sweet cocktails and tonics, I was warned though that the whole night would be all about Calvados. I was feeling confident with my alcohol confidence level. I am not your party girl but I can handle my alcohol. But then again, the Christian Drouin Calvados was all new to me. I never wanted to be the Snow White who would pass out at the taste of apple.
We started with Amuse-Bouche paired with a very light selection of Drouin Calvados.
Chicken Liver Pate with Pancetta and Calvados paired with Blanche De Normandie
For main course we had Cotes de Veau A La Normandie, Veal, Creme Fraiche, Calvados with Glazed Vegetables. I love the color and texture of the dish. It was paird with Christian Drouin, 1990. The dinner started to get more and more interesting with the introduction of each vintage spirits. Unlike having wine with a meal, Calvados provided a different twist to a simple meal. I would say, this is the kind of alcohol that real hard-drinker would appreciate. A little too strong for my taste. It was kicking all my senses - from the scent, the feel in my lips, heat in tongue and taste that fuels every senses in my tastebud. I could only take a conservative sip.
To cleanse the palette, we were served with Apple Sherbet with Calvados. The alcohol was poured right in front of us. I like dessert productions like this (I would tell you about an interesting dessert we had in Da Dong in Beijing). The alcohol sipped through the ice cream. It was very interesting. I love how the Calvados (although strong) perfectly blended with the vanilla flavor.
Before the course even ended, my friend and I have concluded that the Calvados is a sweet accompaniment to a cocktail or dessert; it is a wild, strong alcohol on its own. Such a personality.
The next plate was one of my favorites - say, cheese please.
I am not very wild when it comes to cheese, but the Livarot cheese is a rich and mild French cheese.
Shot using Lenovo Vibe Shot with Blur Background effect
For dessert, we were served with Apple Crepes with Vanilla Ice Cream. A little too sweet for my liking but delicate crepe is something I couldn't resist. It was paired with Christian Drouin, 1993. Have I mentioned that the selection got wilder and bolder at the end of the course? A fine course perfectly curated to balance off the flavor and texture of each dish with vintages from Calvados. Props to the wonderful kitchen team.
Why do I look like a villain in this picture?
Saving the best for last, we were served with Eu de Vie De Cidre, 1948. A vintage Calvados selection. that was bottled and prepared 7 decades ago. I am no expert at wine (or apple wine) drinking, but this vintage brew is noticeably tastier and stronger - yet, it was smooth and more forgiving.
Truly, it was a night to remember with Christian Drouin Calvados.
Thank you Sofitel, Dave and Yasmin for having us!
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Some photos taken by Joan Larion (Nikon D3100)
Mobile Photography by yours truly (using Lenovo Vibe Shot)
Processed via VSCO app.
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