Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Introducing Giffard Liqueurs

1931 « La dame à la robe rose et l’Angelot », poster created by Dransy
Image Courtesy Giffard. 1931 « La dame à la robe rose et l’Angelot » poster created by Dransy.
The start of our relationship with Giffard, a line of high quality liqueurs made in France, has been grand. The exceptionally made spirits have a great number of fans and admirers on both sides of the Atlantic. Rhode Island has responded with great enthusiasm since our first shipment arrived in November.
Giffard began as an experiment in 1885. Pharmacist Emile Giffard developed a pure, refined mint liqueur to relieve his clients from a very hot summer in the Loire Valley. Quick success led Emile to transform his pharmacy into a distillery. Four generations later, Giffard continues to make the now famous Menthe-Pastille as well as a full spectrum of additional flavors. A strong commitment to quality is clearly evident through the pure aromas and authentic tastes of each liqueur.

Wizards has selected sixteen products from Giffard's Crème de Fruits and Premium offerings and will likely expand that pool of flavors as interest and demand grow. Flavors range from the Menthe-Pastille to a Crème de Pamplemousse Rose (pink grapefruit), Abricot du Roussillon (apricot), Ginger of the Indies, Banane du Bresil (Brazilian banana), and Vanille de Madagascar (vanilla sourced from Madagascar).

Another well received item from the portfolio is the Bigallet Viriana China China. Bigallet was founded in the 19th century in the French Alps and, as I've heard the story told, was incorporated into Giffard when a Giffard chap met and fell for a lovely mademoiselle from the Bigallet family. The China China, produced by Bigallet since 1875, is made from sweet and bitter orange peels, which have macerated and been distilled in alambics. It is commonly enjoyed as a digestive.

Menthe Pastille    Pink Grapefruit Liqueur/Crème de pamplemousse rose   Bigallet Viriana China China   Ginger of the Indies
Mixologists have been so creative in the cocktails that they have developed, experimenting with flavor combinations and styles. Many have remarked that the purity of flavor and balance in the Giffard products makes them refreshing to work with. Giffard commissioned a panel of international cocktail artists to develop recipes, which they have compiled into The Giffard Cocktail Book. A searchable recipe database is also available on Giffard's website.