France’s Finest Flavours

09 Nov 2018
2 min read
For 130 years, Giffard liquors has been crafting high quality liqueurs and syrup. From conception in a small laboratory to producing almost 6 million bottles a year, the family-run business has made a global name for itself.

Founded in 1885 in Angers, France, Giffard is an independent, family-owned company specializing in liqueurs, crèmes de fruits, Guignolets and syrups. Backed by strong values, it has built its success on quality products, including their signature Menthe-Pastille, a real emblem of the brand.

The charming Emile Giffard, who founded the company back in 1885, was a herbalist who crafted decoctions and essential oils using local plants that were abundant in the French region. Creative, curious and gourmet, he conducted research on the digestive and refreshing benefits of mint leading him to the development of a pure, crystal-clear, refined white mint liquor. Testing the liquor with guests of the nearby Grand Hotel who were suffering from the summer heat, he found it to be an instant hit! From here, Emile Giffard decided to try his hand at distillation, a bold move at the time. “My distillery was founded in October 1885 … the future will tell if I was right” he writes in his diary. He names his first liqueur Menthe-Pastille, in reference to the popular mints of the late nineteenth century, and now, in 2018, Emile was indeed right – his much-loved distillery is still going strong.

Giffard crafts its products with French tradition and authenticity, preserving the ingredients’ natural qualities, using innovation and respect for the environment as the company’s core values.

“Our history and success are based on staying true to our strong values for more than 130 years! From the selection of ingredients to the distribution of products, our processes aim for perfection and outstanding quality,” says Edith Giffard, great granddaughter of the founder and Associate Director of the brand.”

Sourced primarily in the Val de Loire region or from local producers, depending on the varieties and origins chosen, the fruits and plants are selected for their quality and freshness. The traditional maceration technique respects the sensory qualities of each ingredient, revealing their aromatic richness and guaranteeing the authenticity of the end products.

Giffard’s growing success with professionals and the general public can be explained by its unique cocktail of rigor and passion. The quality and authenticity standards require continuous improvement of the manufacturing processes for both liqueurs and syrups. That is why a research and development laboratory is active throughout the year to test, improve, innovate, and bring original and flavorful products to consumers.

Giffard’s story began in Angers and the brand’s success has continued to grow since its founding. It is now present in more than 80 countries on all continents and the company generates more than 50% of its revenue from exports. Europe, Asia, Middle East, Canada, USA… Giffard liqueurs and syrups are distributed to professional networks such as cocktail bars, restaurants and hotels. In France, Giffard liqueurs are distributed in supermarkets, specialty stores (independent wine merchants, gourmet food shops), and across the hospitality industry.

In a true show of their dedication to their craft, Giffard embarked on a journey to find mixology masters and tell their stories from behind the scenes. The product of this journey, a book titled Spirit of Art, is threefold: one part portraits, telling the stories of 44 drink masters’ tattoos, and two parts bartending, revealing the inspiration behind their cocktails and how Giffard folds into the mix. Mixologists also share insider tips, handcrafted drink recipes, and insights into local bar and coffee scenes. When combined, these elements create an inspired reflection on the dynamic world of mixing.

To see Giffard’s range of liqueurs, syrups and other products, and to read up more about the company and get amazing cocktail recipes, visit their website or contact Mandy Gréaume.