Black Star Farms’ distillery operation began in 1998 on their farm in Suttons Bay. Their fruit based brandies are generally known as eau de vie-style spirits, a staple in some European countries. Eau de vie is French for ‘water of life.’ The spirits are clear and represent the pure essence of fermented fruit. The balance of fruit and alcohol reflects both the artisan skill of the distiller and the quality of the fruit. At the precise time the distiller feels is optimum to showcase the ‘spirit’ of the fruit, the brandy is bottled, often one barrel at a time, or in very small lots, as distillation is a process of amplifying whatever the starting product is.
As an expression of the region’s agricultural heritage, you will find a taste of northern Michigan in every bottle of Black Star Farms’ Cherry Brandy. Made of just cherries mashed into juice, they add a little yeast to begin fermentation, then distill it into a pure, clear 80-proof spirit. Black Star Farms produces brandies from the best local cherries, apricots, pears, plums, raspberries and grapes.
Black Star brandies make aperitifs that can settle the stomach after a large meal, or be mixed into their own distinctive cocktails, just like vodka, gin, or whiskey. Brandy also can be incorporated into savory sauces or used as a garnish to finish deserts. They also produce a barrel-aged apple brandy that is aged for three to five years, using both French and American oak.
Cherry Lemonade Sangria
Spirit of Cherry
Combine Spirit of Cherry, lemonade, and fresh-squeezed lemon juice into a wine glass. Drop in cherries and garnish with lemon slices. Enjoy!