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The word framboise comes from the French word for raspberry. A framboise is commonly recognized as a kind of Belgian limbic beer made from the raspberry. It has been imported all over the world as a prime example of a fruit-based beer style.
This kind of raspberry inspired beer, according to some experts, is derived from a beer called kriek beer in Dutch. Kriek beer is made with sour cherries. Experimentation with kriek beer led to other kinds of fruity fermented drinks.
Framboise is also sometimes referred to as a kind of heavier liquor called an eau-de-vie. The term eau-de-vie translates to “water of life” in French. It refers to a kind of distilled fruit based spirit. Eau-de-vie seems to come from the Latin “aqua vitae” which also referenced strong drinks.
The connection between the framboise, or framboizenbier in Dutch, and the more alcoholic eau-de-vie version shows how different fermentation and methods can be applied to the same plants in order to make very different drinks. In the early days of brewing, it’s assumed that pioneers evaluated the different alcoholic contents of various processes to distinguish between beers, which have something like 3-10% alcohol content, and liquors, which typically have 40% alcohol, also known as “80 proof,” a standard alcoholic content for mass produced liquor of almost every kind.
A closer look at the framboise liquor shows that this kind of drink was sometimes made from the leftovers of the wine-making process. The link between production of wine and spirits is also something traditional to the Belgian and French regions, where framboise and related drinks principally come from. From a practical standpoint, it makes sense for the production of framboise and similar concoctions to be practiced along with classical wine-making.
Connoisseurs will point out that there are a wide variety of eau-de-vie types made from various fruits. Framboise has its own place in the beer and liquor communities, as the product of a common and easily grown berry. In addition to the commonly recognized beer and eau de vie liquor, look for the term to be used in all kinds of drinks and foods containing the essence of this fruit.
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