Byrrh (pronounced "beer") was created in 1866 by brothers Pallade and Simon Violet in the small village of Thuir, France. Initially, it was distributed in pharmacies and appreciated for its medicinal benefits. Over time, Byrrh became a feature in bistros and grew in popularity through the Belle Époque (1890s - 1910s) and the Années folles (1920s). By 1935, Byrrh was the leading apertif brand in France with sales of more than 35 million litres.
The Bryrrh Grand Quinquina original recipe has remained unchanged since 1866 and is amazingly still produced in the original production facility in Thuir that was designed by Gustave Eiffel (of the famed tower) and created in 1873.
It is hand-crafted and produced by the maceration of the mistelles, naturally sweet and fruity wines (Macabeu and Grenache) which are then infused in alcohol with aromatic plants including coffee, bitter orange, colombo, cocoa, and the finest cinchona (quinine) barks. The final blend is then aged several years in one of the world's largest oak vats (1 million litres).
Tasting Note:BYRRH GRAND QUINQUINA - Roussillon, France (#440909) (S) - $14.90
Grapey, caramel, nutty, golden raisin aromas, along with hints of sweet spice from the glass. Viscous, silky mouthfeel that's slightly warming with flavours of blackberry, orange peel, raisin, some potpourri and walnut. The palate is initially sweet, but finishes long and on the earthy, nutty side. Ideal as an apertif. I enjoyed this well-chilled, but it can also be mixed into a cocktail. Score: 87 pts
Serving Suggestions:Byrrh on the Rocks - Served on ice
Byrrh Tonic - 1 part Byrrh Grand Quinquina, 1/2 freshly squeezed Lemon, 1 part Tonic water
Byyrh Blood & Sand - 1 part Byrrh Grand Quinquina, 1 part Te Bheag Scotch Whisky, 1 part freshly squeezed Orange Juice, 1 part Cherry Heering or Filthy Black Cherry