Busnel CalvadosBusnel Calvados

According to some random website I found, 40 million bottles of Cognac are sold every year in the United States, compared to only 200,000 bottles of Calvados. Considering the harshness and expense of Cognac (I admit to complete ignorance on this topic), this surprises me. There must have been a tipping point sometime that pushed Cognac into its spot as the go-to drink for the rich and their admirers. Certainly hip-hop has helped seal the deal. They can keep their dumb drink—more Calvados for me!

This beautiful bottle of Busnel was an early Christmas present from Nathan that I’ve been asking for for months. I spend a fair amount of money on wine and spirits in New York and in duty-free shops while traveling (most of the spirits collect dust between parties), but the Calvados has always been too expensive to justify quenching my curiosity. I’m so happy to finally have my very own bottle! And I’m on my third little taste here of creamy, appley goodness.

Can you believe that 16 pounds of apples go into each 750-milliliter bottle of Calvados? And yet, it barely tastes of apples. In any case, it’s not sweet. There is a faint aftertaste of apple. Mostly it’s just smooth and complex. It smells like it will burn, but that must be a result of my fear after so many digestifs of Cognac and ouzo and pear eau-de-vie that burned holes in my throat.

I’m willing to try one or two Norman recipes with this liquid gold, as long as they call for a half cup or less. Suggestions?


I’ve used it sparingly to baste a chicken with an apple, walnut, raisin stuffing and also as a cocktail mixed with Cointreau or Triple Sec and lemon.

Add a comment