Apple Brandy: Apple brandy is the original American spirit, dating back to colonial times. It is made from pressed apple juice that is fermented into hard cider, distilled, then, if desired, barrel-aged. It comes in a wide variety of styles ranging from eau-de-vies to spirits that could step in for whiskey. Commonly made from a variety of apples, some small batch producers focus on a single apple variety. While American apple brandies typically drink more like whiskey, French Calvados is more akin to cognac. Calvados is produced in the Calvados region of Normandy in northern France and commonly contains a bit of pear.