An eau de vie is a clear, colourless fruit brandy that is produced by means of fermentation and double distillation. 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, Turkish rakı, Romanian țuică, Czech and Slovak pálenka, Hungarian pálinka, and Sri Lankan coconut arrack). In French, however, eau de vie is a generic term for distilled spirits. The proper French term for fruit brandy is eau-de-vie de fruit, while eau-de-vie de vin means wine spirit (brandy), and several further categories of spirits (distilled from grape pomace, lees of wine, beer, cereals, etc.) are also legally defined as eau-de-vie in a similar fashion. Many eaux de vie made from fruits, wine, pomace, or rye have a protected designation of origin within the European Union.