Quality Liqueurs and Syrups
Giffard is one of the most celebrated producers of essential bar ingredients, and they have a diverse range of liqueurs and syrups to fire the imagination of any mixologist or home aficionado.
Back in 1885 Émile Giffard was a pharmacist in Angers in Val de Loire, France. The date is still emblazoned on the label of every bottle. He was a lover of fine food and drink as well as having a knowledge of chemistry. He first developed a refined white digestive liqueur from mint. After the success of his first venture Émile turned his pharmacy into a distillery and named his liqueur Menthe-Pastille as a homage to the popular tiny mint sweets. Four generations later, Giffard & Co is still in the hands of the Giffard family.
A tempting array
The basic ingredients for the Giffard range are simply fruits and plants which are mostly found in the region of the Pays de Loire; other more exotic ingredients come from around the world. The fruits are macerated in alcohol for between two days and three months. The company now offers a tempting array of more than twenty classic liqueurs as well as plenty of premium liqueurs, crèmes de fruits, and a range of historic brands; there are also the Bigallet distillery products and a huge selection of syrups. Any one of these bottles would have the enthusiastic barperson reaching for the shaker …or is it stirrer?
I have tried the Rhubarb Liqueur from the Classic selection and it had my mixing mind racing. Wines are all about taste, but a cocktail is first consumed with one’s eyes. The statuesque bottle has a collar illustrating rhubarb; the glass bottle is embossed with signature, date and address; and then comes that instantly recognisable paper label. The bottle begs to be opened and tasted.
Appearance: clear and peach-pink
Nose: distinctive aroma of fresh rhubarb
Palate: rhubarb fruitiness, tart and refreshing. Hints of grapefruit and sweet summer berries
Finish: medium, sweet, citrus peel
I have been tinkering with cocktails using Giffard’s Rhubarb Liqueur, taking advantage of its complex and delicious profile. I call this autumn-inspired cocktail ‘Rhubarb and Apple Pie’. I have listed ingredients by measure so it’s easy to create individual drinks or a jugful for a crowd.
‘Rhubarb and Apple Pie’
1 measure vodka
2 measures Giffard’s Rhubarb Liqueur
3 measures (or to taste) crisp dry cider (well chilled)
a couple of drops of orange bitters (per cocktail)
Fill a shaker with plenty of ice and add Giffard’s Rhubarb Liqueur and vodka.
Shake well to chill.
Pour the chilled cocktail into a tumbler and top up with chilled cider.
Add a couple of dashes of orange bitters (per cocktail) and stir.
Garnish with dried apple slices.