Giffard

Egg White

Giffard is a name that you may be familiar with if you’ve ever scanned the products of your favourite bar. A brand of liqueurs and syrups, Giffard have had a main-stay presence for over 100 years, and are still to this day consistently evolving their expressions to fit with the modern times. But how did such a company come about?

1885, the year that a gentleman named Emile Giffard was named as a dispensing pharmacist in Angers (Val de Loire) in France. His mind didn’t stop there though, as he undertook research on the digestive and refreshing properties of mint, and came up with a refined white mint liqueur. His test market happened to be the Grand Hotel’s customers, in order to relieve them from heat, and immediate success ensued. With this, Emile changed his pharmacy into a distillery and called his liqueur Menthe Pastille, referring to the mint sweets which were very famous at that time.

Four generations later, and here we are into the 21st Century, and still Giffard is under the Giffard family name.

1895 « La Dame et l’angelot » - 1st Menthe Pastille advertising poster created by Mitsi
1895 « La Dame et l’angelot » – 1st Menthe Pastille advertising poster created by Mitsi

Of course, the range of expressions have expanded, using fruits and plants that are bought in priority (for example, 100 % of the blackcurrant berries come from the Pays de Loire) either local to Giffard or further afield depending on the variety chosen.
A great example is the mint harvest every year. Edith Giffard enters the fields on the first day of harvest, with herself and Courivaud Olivier overseeing the crop and deciding when it is exactly the right moment to harvest. The Mitcham Peppermint plant that goes into Menthe Pastille production, and has been since Emile created the first run, needs to be harvested just before it flowers, meaning that the mint has reached its maturity and that the quality of its essential oil is at its maximum.

But how do we get from fruit and plants to liqueurs?

To extract the flavours and aromas from the fruits chosen, they are macerated into alcohol from 48 hours to 3 months depending on the necessary time to obtain that perfect blend between fruit and alcohol. After blending, it is filtered, quality controlled and then bottled.

An expression I’d like to draw attention to though is the new Giffard Egg White. Created for those egg white based cocktails such as Sours, this is a syrup that mixes egg white with sugar cane. Released in 2015, it shows Giffard and their innovative ideas to combat many a bartenders nightmare of running low on eggs for a round of Amaretto Sours. But how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Giffard Egg White – 0%

A clean nose, with soft hints of the sweet sugar and fresh egg notes. A thin texture, light egg white rounded off with natural sweetness. Doesn’t stick too much and offers a cleaner finish than expected.

As expected, it works great in some of these –

Pisco Sour

Glass – 

Coupette

Ingredients – 

30 ml Giffard Egg White
20 ml Fresh lemon juice
60 ml Pisco

Method – 

Put a single ice-cube and all the ingredients in a shaker and shake vigorously until you don’t hear the ice-cube on the shaker walls. Pour into a coupette.

or perhaps,

Amaretto Sour

Glass – 

Coupette

Ingredients –

20 ml Giffard Egg White
30 ml Fresh Lemon Juice
60 ml Amaretto

Method –

Put a single ice-cube and all the ingredients in a shaker and shake vigorously until you don’t hear the ice-cube on the shaker walls. Pour into a coupette.

Of course, as mentioned above, Giffard create numerous fruit flavoured liqueurs and syrups, including a range of 15 Crèmes de fruits and classic flavours such as blue curaçao, triple sec or apricot, as well as specific ones such as rhubarb, violet or pineapple. These will be added as and when experienced, but in the meantime, take a great way to create some classic cocktails at home with the Egg White variation and impress your friends and family with a round of Sours!

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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