BYRRH GRAND QUINQUINA
Simon Violet founded in 1866 in the eastern pyrenees of France his company Byrrh to produce a “tonique et hygienique” aperitif to serve in the grands cafés. Byrrh went on to become an iconic brand celebrated with classic posters and wall paintings throughout France until it fell out of fashion over the last fifty years. It is now being discovered by a new and appreciative audience, with aficionados in New York and London leading the way.
From the original cellars which house the biggest wine vat in the world, they make this unique wine-based aperitif to the unchanged secret recipe, adding herbs and spices. Production starts with a maceration of mistelles made of muscat wine as it was in the 19th century. This mixture provides Byrrh Grand Quinquina with natural sweetness and fruitiness: no sugar is added, all the sweetness comes from the muscat mistelles.
After a first ageing, the mistelle is blended with grenache and macabeu wines to give freshness and body. the aromatic plants (coffee, bitter orange, colombo and cocoa) and the finest quinines in the world are macerated in alcohol before being added to the blend of wines and mistelles. The blend is then transferred in "foudres" (wine casks) in the impressive cellars at Thuir.