Melbourne’s Saint Felix distillery introduces new limited edition brandy

Distiller Xavier Nalty launches Cherry & Cacao Husk Brandy by Saint Felix.

Saint Felix distillery introduces a limited edition brandy on 10th May 2021. With only 800 bottles available, the brandy is the first of Saint Felix’s limited release aged spirits and brandy collection. Master distiller and ex-chef of 20 years, Xavier Nalty created the recipe for this first Saint Felix brandy with the support and expertise of World Class Bartender of the Year, Orlando Marzo. Saint Felix Brandy is set to become the hero in their portfolio of fruit-based beverages.

For this, his first Australian brandy, Xavier uses Cherry & Cacao as the key ingredients, playing on the flavour combination of cherry, chocolate and red wine creating the perfect winter warmer. This limited release is priced at $85 per bottle.

In 2016, to understand the history of brandy making, Xavier reached out to Calvados Christian Drouin Distillery in the historical region of Normandy, France. French distilling is a highly exclusive world to gain access to, but Xavier’s commitment and persistence was rewarded. In June 2017, he began a 6-month journey living and learning with third-generation distiller and connoisseur Guillaume Drouin. Xavier developed an in-depth knowledge base of the brandy making process – from fermentation and distillation to the art of barrel ageing. During his time in France, he also worked in Reims and Cognac, where he learned about old-world spirits and further developed his love for brandy. 

After France, Xavier travelled to the futuristic Empirical Spirits in Copenhagen. The culinary and scientific approach at Empirical further developed his knowledge and technique from cold distillation to the use of technology, such as distilling with a rotary evaporator.

Inspired, Xavier returned home to Australia and created Saint Felix. This distillery’s beverage portfolio represents Xavier’s use of ingredients at his fingertips on the Mornington Peninsula, married with the centuries-old knowledge he gained in France and his desire to devise spirits that perfectly accompany food. For this first brandy, raspberries are added to the critical element of cherries (including pits) and macerated. The fruit is then removed and distilled in the kettle. That distillate is then used to macerate the cacao husk, which lastly is blended and finished in Barossa red wine casks.  

The brandy is distilled in an 18th-century Portuguese copper pot still. This ancient approach is used for Saint Felix brandy and blood orange aperitivo. In contrast, a rotary evaporator – a technology uncommonly found in the Australian distillery landscape – is used for their yuzu and green tea spirit and their gin.

The Cherry & Cacao Husk Brandy ($85) will be available for pre-order from Friday, 30th April at www.saintfelix.com.au.

In addition to purchasing online, the brandy will also be revealed at a ticketed launch event on Thursday, 13th May at BYRDI bar in Melbourne’s CBD. Ticket holders will enjoy tasting the Cherry & Cacao Husk Brandy as well as a selection of brandy cocktails mixed by World’s Best Bartender, Orlando Marzo and BYRDI bar owner Luke Whearty. Mörk Chocolate Brew House will also be there to treat guests to a chocolate and brandy pairing. Xavier and Orlando will describe how the brandy was made and their inspiration behind the bottle. Further information, how to book and ticket prices will be released on Saint Felix’s social channels over the coming week so keep an eye out as tickets will be limited.

Saint Felix
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Top Image: Jordan Price

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