Blake Vanderfield-Kramer is one of the founders of Feels Botanical – the world’s first botanical eau de vie spirit.
As a trailblazing new product with unique characteristics and applications that’s already creating a buzz with consumers, we sat down with Blake to chat all things eau de vie. What is it? How do you drink it? And which consumers are buying it?
What is eau de vie?
BLAKE: French for “water for life,” eau de vie has a rich tapestry, steeped in European history and drinking culture. It is essentially an unaged brandy and can be made from any type of fruit. Though orchard fruit like Pear, Plum and Apple are most commonly used in Europe to make eau de vie, they’re far from the only options.
In Feels, we use Australian grapes that have been distilled into eau de vie as our base spirit. We chose Australian eau de vie grape spirit as it delivers a fruity characteristic to the spirit, as well as a velvety, creamy, smooth texture and mouthfeel. There is also an abundance of high-quality grapes here in Australia and we want to utilise what this amazing country has to offer.
How is eau de vie typically consumed?
BLAKE: Traditionally in European cultures, it is consumed as a digestive after dinner. However, it is fast becoming a staple as a base cocktail ingredient. Feels, however, given the additions of the botanicals drinks more like a tequila or gin – over ice, mixed with sodas, tonics or as a crafted cocktail.
So eau de vie is growing in popularity overseas?
BLAKE: It is certainly a category with tradition and heritage from Europe. However, eau de vie is being served worldwide, and while still a relatively small category, it is starting to make waves within the UK, USA and Australian cocktail bar scene.
Speaking of cocktails, would you say that’s what eau de vie is best suited to?
BLAKE: If a customer likes tequila, whisky or brandy, then they'll like eau de vie. We like to say that within the feels botanical range there is a product for all moods, occasions and drinks. We don’t discriminate or pigeon hole our product or consumers. People are emotive, creative and sensorial people. We all interact with flavours, occasions, experiences and products in different ways, at different times. My palate is different to your palate and our life sensorial experiences are different, therefore we will interact differently with products.
Born in the ancient, wild and fertile Australian continent, Feels Botanical embraces the wonders of its natural home to deliver a holistic drinking experience and ignite feelings within us all.
FLAVOUR: We have specifically selected eau de vie for its superior quality, flavour profile and mouthfeel. The uniqueness and rich history of eau de vie, together with its ability to accentuate the complex flavours of our native botanicals, delivers a unique experience.
HOW IT’S MADE: We take a progressive approach towards ancient apothecary wisdom to deliver a unique range of Australian crafted botanical eau de vie grape spirit. Each is distilled and macerated with its own collection of three sustainably sourced and natural botanicals - creating a harmony of flavours that compliment a spectrum of moods and occasions.
WHY CUSTOMERS LOVE IT: One cocktail at a time. One expression at a time. Feels Botanical is about inspiring creativity in its purest and most unadulterated form.
Velvety, delicate, complex, distinctive and versatile. we’re a 100% natural and sustainably sourced botanical eau de vie grape-based spirit – free of gluten, grain and preservatives with no added sugar – that is proudly Australian made and owned.
Check out @feelsbotanical