Menthe-Pastille from Giffard

Minty and Fresh.

Giffard MintSummer is here and cool drinks are in order. Perhaps a cocktail offering minty notes. Menthe-Pastille was created by Emile Giffard in 1885. This clear liqueur is made with the essential oils from peppermint. It is perfect for creating fresh-tasting drinks.

Emile Giffard was a pharmacist in Angers in France. He transformed his pharmacy into a distillery after the owner of the nearby Grand Hotel requested something refreshing to relieve his guests from the summer heat. Menthe-Pastille was born.

This liqueur is delicious when poured over ice and topped up with sparkling water. Add a garnish of mint and one has the simplest low-alcohol warm-weather sip. But use a bit of imagination and shake your own more complex alcoholic cocktails, too.

I took memories of mint tea in Tunisia and turned Menthe-Pastille from Giffard into my own Mint Teaser. I wanted to create a drink with few ingredients and most of those already gracing one’s kitchen. This confection is particularly spectacular when served over crushed ice and especially if one owns tea glasses for presentation.

Mint Teaser

1 part Menthe-Pastille from Giffard
2 parts neutral vodka
2 parts cooled brewed  black tea
A few dashes of lemon juice
A few dashes orange bitters (optional)
Ice for filling the shaker
Crushed ice for serving

Put all the ingredients, apart from the crushed ice, into a shaker and shake till well-chilled.

Half fill tea glasses with crushed ice and pour over the Mint Teaser. Garnish with fresh mint leaves or a lemon slice.

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