Four new drinks to try right now in Normandy

Not your ordinary bottle of wine

Well, this is certainly something new! What if the next big thing was…kiwi wine! Two things you never would have thought to combine, together at last. All this thanks to Gustave Lecadieu. In the small village of Belmesnil, halfway between Dieppe and Rouen, the young Frenchman started fermenting the exotic fruit back in 2017 in order to produce a unique organic wine. Friends and family loved it, so he manufactured 400 bottles of the stuff. Production grew to 3200 bottles last year, and now everyone in the area is talking about his drink. Wondering what it tastes like? Well, kind of like kiwi actually. Crisp, fruity and fresh, like a summer white wine, but unlike grape-derived wines in general, kiwi wine is unique in its ability to preserve its nutritional content through the winemaking process, all the way through to the finished product. It is therefore explosively rich in vitamins, along with potassium, folate, iron and copper. Sometime soon, kiwi wine will become the must-have summertime drink, so don’t forget to grab a bottle next time you’re in Normandy to taste it before everyone else!

(c) Le Petit Alcoolier
© Le Petit Alcoolier

A very quirky cola

We all enjoy a refreshing glass of Coke when the weather’s hot. Now, what if I told you that you could savour a local, organic and transparent cola drink here in Normandy? Meuh Cola’s latest innovation actually tastes just like the real thing, although it’s colourless and made in Normandy of course. To be quite frank, this isn’t something that new, as Pepsi already launched its infamous Crystal Pepsi in the US way back in the early 90s. However, bring a bottle of ‘Meuh Cola Bio & Transparent’ back home with you and you’re sure to get some attention!

(c) Meuh Cola
 © Meuh Cola

Calvados and then some

Everyone seems to be mad about rum these days in France. Mojito has become the nation’s favourite cocktail, and bottles of artisanal rum are flying off the shelves. Big sellers over here are rhumsarrangés (infused rums), with flavours ranging from fruity or floral to earthy or spicy. We’re certainly not big rum producers in Normandy (although we do have one called Whisper – a true hidden gem), but we are of course the Calvados champions! That’s why Terres Normandes in Cambremer came up with the idea of infused Calvados! The famous Norman spirit is already fruity, but combine it with hints of vanilla, mint, lemon, raspberry, coffee, passion fruit, pineapple or orange, and the drink becomes heavenly! Connoisseurs might not fall for these P’tit Calvas Arrangés, but those with a sweet tooth will love’em!

(c) Terres Normandes
© Terres normandes

Gin with a Norman twist

A few years ago, gin was considered a drink for the elderly. Fast forward to 2019 and it has exploded to the point that even the local shop now has a large gin selection. Up until now, Norman gin was quite simply unheard of. But then along came Julie and Dave, a couple who spent a few years in England and discovered a wide variety of gins during their stay. Back in Normandy, they decided to give birth to their very own gin normand. Produced near Caen, it was recently crowned ‘France’s Best Contemporary Gin’! What’s so Norman about it though? Well, Julie and Dave add a little apple essence at the end of the process, which really gives the gin a distinctive flavour.

(c) Chez Nous gin
© C’est nous

For information on food and drink in Normandy, visit the Normandy Tourism website.


Cover photo © Meuh Cola | Text © B. Collier

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s