An eau de vie (plural, eaux de vie — also spelled eau-de-vie and eaux-de-vie) is a clear, colorless fruit brandy that is produced by means of fermentation and double distillation of Mirabelle fruits. The fruit flavor is typically very light.
In English speaking countries, eau de vie refers to a distilled beverage made from fruit other than grapes. Similar terms may be local translations or may specify the fruit used to produce it. Although eau de vie is a French term, similar beverages are produced in other countries (e.g., German Schnaps, Balkan rakia, Romanian tuica, Czech and Slovak pálenka, Hungarian pálinka, Sri Lankan coconut arrack, and Georgian chacha). In French speaking countries, however, there is also the term eau-de-vie de vin, which refers to eaux de vie from grapes, more precisely those that are not made in the Armagnac or Cognac regions of France. These alcoholic beverages are known as French brandy in the English speaking world
Ripe fruit is fermented, distilled, and quickly bottled to preserve the freshness and aroma of the parent fruit.
Eaux de vie are typically not aged in wooden casks, hence they are clear.
Although this is the usual practice, some distillers age their products before bottling.