When I was younger, my family and I used to visit an old lady friend who would cook gorgeous french dinners when she hosted. Beautiful house, delightful host and amazing generous food. When you were finished with your generous serving (and seriously proud of it), she would look at you with this grandma smile you can't say no to and say "Have some more if you liked it.", standing, the spoon in one hand, the plate in the other hand, ready to serve. It was such a good motto! How could you refuse without giving the impression you didn't like it. Mado was famous for the way she would subtly get you to overeat (and no, she wasn't Lebanese for those wondering). This sentence stuck with us and we still use it a lot. Each time we do, we have a little thought for this refined lady.
The reason why I'm telling you this story is that I went to visit Laurent Cazottes's fief in Villeneuve sur Vère, and this is typically the place where you would use this "Have some more if you liked it" motto. Laurent's father was a traveling distiller. He would travel from city to city with his portable still, offering his services to owners of fruit trees, vines... who wanted to get liquor out of their fruits. Now when Laurent took part in the family business, he traveled for one year and then decided to give an other dimension to the art of distillation. He wanted the purest alcohol possible so he started taking out all the seeds, pips, stones and stalks of all the fruits. Can you imagine he was the very first to do it! As a result, his liquors and eaux de vie lost a little bit of that "nut" taste some might like but it is pure fruit. They have a huge selection of fruits now: grapes, plums, cherries, even tomatoes and lavender! Everything is organic, the process is simple: they wait for all fruits to be overripe, they don't even pick them from the trees, they wait for them to fall. Then they take out all the non-fruit and all the damaged parts, and then only they distil. Obviously, it does take more human resources than usual, which explains that the price is higher, but trust my palate, it is worth it! And apparently, I am not the only one thinking like this since he is now working with the most prestigious French restaurants. I could not not share this great product and story with you pitchouns!
Have a look at his website here, and please "Have some more if you liked it".
Liquors and eaux de vie, better not get mixed up: the level of alcohol is doubled between one and the other.
The old portable still. A whole other era.
Having fun with their work material...
Drying lavender before distilling it.
Fruits from ground to ceiling.