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© WBT - Philippe Lermusiaux
© WBT - Emmanuel Mathez
© WBT - Philippe Lermusiaux
© WBT - Philippe Lermusiaux
© WBT - Philippe Lermusiaux
© WBT - Philippe Lermusiaux
© WBT - Philippe Lermusiaux
© WBT - Philippe Lermusiaux
© WBT - Philippe Lermusiaux
© WBT - Philippe Lermusiaux

Pékèt and other brandies

Pékèt is the Walloon spirit for every occasion. Some prefer it au naturel, others with fruit flavours or flambéed. But for everyone it’s the drink of choice for celebrations.

© WBT - Philippe Lermusiaux

Violet, vanilla, strawberry, kiwi or even caramel flavoured, Pékèt comes in all colours of the rainbow and there’s one to suit every taste.

Pékèt in Walloon folklore

The word pékèt means ‘piquant’ in old Walloon; it may also be derived from the word péke which, in certain regions of Wallonia, means juniper berries. Which makes sense, because Pékèt is a spirit made from distilled grain or berries.

It’s easy to find in local and Christmas markets and, of course, during the Entre Sambre et Meuse parades, the Fêtes de Wallonie festival in Namur and the Fêtes du 15 Août festival in Liège.

Pékèt through the ages

It’s believed that the Arabs played a decisive role in the development of the technical and chemical aspects of the distillation process.

Pékèt is a working man’s drink: in the 1950s, miners were quite partial to it. As proof of this, the symbol of Pékèt in the Liège region is a man wearing a blue smock and a red scarf – the traditional clothes worn by miners and metal workers.

Maitrank and Eau de Villée

Pékèt is not the only spirit in Wallonia – in the Arlon region, there is another called Maitrank. Thanks to the brotherhood that keeps the traditions of this spirit alive, there is a festival dedicated to it on the last weekend in May.

L’eau de Villée
is a fruit brandy. Made in the historic Biercée Distillery, it’s worth a detour for both its flavour and its setting, because the distillery is the second-largest farm building in our region.

And whisky

The Walloon family of spirits has recently acquired a new member, and not just any old member: whisky. It’s a genuine single malt that’s mentioned in the Jim Murray Whisky Bible, with a score of 90/100!

Walloon whisky is made at The Owl Distillery , from barley grown in the Hesbaye region. The distillery has been a huge success story since 2004, earning numerous accolades for a quality, refined product which is highly rated by whisky connoisseurs.