Cyril uses over 30 varieties of apples to make his cider. 70% are bitter and bitter-sweet, 20% are sweet, and 10% are sour varietals. After ripening, they are cellared for several months to increase their sugars. They are then gently pressed, yielding only 680 liters of juice from a ton of fruit. A slow and long fermentation follows, with one racking done to clarify the juice. The cider is then left on the lees for 10 months before distillation.
Calvados superstar Jean-Roger Groult is the man responsible for the distillation. He uses a 12 hectoliter wood-fired pot still for Cyril Zangs Double Zero Eau De Vie de Cidre. Unlike most distillers, he cuts and discards the heads from the first distillation. This is done to concentrate the heart of the distillate that carries the most flavor. The “petite eau” is then rested for several weeks before distillation takes place. Again, the heads are aggressively cut, taking out three times the standard volume removed. After the heart is isolated, it is gradually brought down to proof (maximum 5% abv each addition) with demineralized, softened, and reverse osmosis local water. Once it is at 50% abv, it is rested for at least one month before bottling.