Emporia Brands Launch National Provence Cocktail Day

Rinquinquin Bottle

Spirits innovator Emporia Brands is working in collaboration with its award-winning Distilleries et Domaines de Provence range to bring to the UK for the first time National Provence Cocktail Day.

Set to be this coming Friday 3rd June 2016, a number of bars and restaurants across the UK have joined the campaign to show off their cocktail creations using either the peach vermouth of Rinquinquin, the first legal absinthe since the ban of 1914 in Absente, and the thyme flavour of Farigoule, culminating in a hub of recipes to be featured upon www.provencecocktails.com.

No region of France is as incredibly blessed as Provence with the range of raw materials for original flavours to create wondrous liqueurs and vermouths. From orchards of peaches to hillsides of wormwood, Distilleries et Domaines de Provence have a glorious palette of flavours to work from, to create spirits, liqueurs and vermouths to inspire bartenders nationally.

National Provence Cocktail Day celebrates the innovation of such, showcasing the talent and creations from a wide variety of concepts, both on and off trade, across the UK.

Highlights across the UK include The Blackbird in Edinburgh showing off Provence Cocktails in the ‘Garden Shed’(Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th June), whilst their Beer Garden will be taken over with an exclusive cocktail menu of 4 Provence delights.
Bistro Provence, also in Edinburgh, are running a week of Provence Cocktails, recommending their creations with food pairings, whilst The Tippling House in Aberdeen have produced five Provence Cocktails for the weekend.

In London, Gaucho Smithfields are launching a Provence Cocktail Day menu as part of their Aperitivo terrace, including the Rinquinquin based Peach Frappe.

The Midlands see’s the likes of The Edgbaston and 40st Pauls from Birmingham and Hockley Arts Club, World Social and Annies Burger Shack (all located in Nottingham) embracing Farigoule, Absente and Rinquinquin within their trademark cocktails, whilst the North East sees an in-store tasting at Fenwicks in Newcastle from 12-6pm and a Provence Cocktail Showcase on the 2nd June at BonBar with exclusive invites to local industry figures.

On the South Coast, the General Wine Company and their Liphook and Petersfield branches will be running Absente Absinthe tastings over the weekend, with the in-store tastings also running to Amathus Knightsbridge with a look at Rinquinquin.

The North of England will see El Gato Negro creating several Rinquinquin serves, whilst Cottonopolis have for you a specialised cocktail menu with Rinquinquin and Farigoule as well as food pairings. To continue the Manchester theme, Dusk Til Pawn have been utilising Farigoule for their Provence Cocktail specials, whilst it will also be the venue for a city-wide Provence Cocktail Day competition to show off the creativity of the city.

Speakeasy venue Riddles Bar in Altrincham are serving up Absente creations following the success of National Absinthe Day back in March, whilst Leeds and Backroom Bar have a Farigoule and Casco Viejo tequila creation on offer.

To cap off the Provence Cocktail Day activity, Pollen Street Social in London are joining forces with Emporia Brands and Distilleries et Domaines de Provence on the 5th June as part of Social Sunday 2016 For Hospitality Action.

A 5-course tasting menu prepared by Chef owner Jason Atherton, Sat Bains, Tom Kerridge and Claude Bosi is available, whilst across the street at Little Social, Greg Marchand from Frenchie, will be cooking his own tasting menu.

Also getting in on the food pairings are La Petite Mort in Edinburgh who are running a week long pop-up menu of four cocktails which will have recommended food pairings, culminating in a hosted 3 course dinner with paired Provence Cocktails on the 7th June.

For more information on Distilleries et Domaines de Provence and Emporia Brands, please visit www.emporiabrands.com

Follow Provence Cocktails on Twitter @ProvCocktails or Facebook at www.facebook.com/ProvCocktailscom or visit http://www.provencecocktails.com

You can purchase the Distilleries et Domaines de Provence range online at Master of Malt and The Drink Shop, as well as in-store at Fenwick’s, General Wine Company and Amathus.

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Distilleries et Domaines de Provence

Distilleries Et Domaines De Provence

Continuing a little from the inspiration behind the feature on the Nardini range, it was to be around this time that I came across the French name of Distilleries et Domaines de Provence. Looking at the photo above, you may be hard pressed to recognise the labels, or indeed the names, but this very reason is behind the initiative that Mal Spence had with the Inverso Masterclass, giving the light of day to a brand that offers something a little different.

Lets dive in.

Distilleries et Domaines de Provence is a name who have been in the history books since 1898, creating and producing Provençal liqueurs and aperitifs in Forcalquier, located in the Haute Provence region of France. This specific region is also recognised as a “Site Remarquable du Goût” (Site of Exceptional Taste). The inspiration behind the setup came from the tradition of collecting medicinal plants on Lure mountain, an area known for its abundance of plant species. It’s here that gatherers from as far back as the Middle Ages carefully harvested and distilled the herbs, eventually turning into pharmacists or apothecaries. Around the 19th century, beverages were starting to become popular, with digestifs and aperitifs becoming a common sight, and the act of drawing out the plants aromas and substances became the force behind many of today’s liqueurs and aperitifs.

The vermouths that are being focused on here, are produced from four different recipes using ingredients which are harvested locally and marinated with local provence wine. Lets take a look at each expression a little close –

Distilleries et Domaines de Provence Gentiane de Lure – 16%

One of the two oldest Distilleries et Domaines de Provence recipes, gentian roots are collected then dried before putting them into a liqueur wine to extract the flavours. On this base, they incorporate fresh gentian roots, sweet and bitter oranges and Peruvian bark. When maceration ends (in six months to a year), the gentian roots, citrus peels and Peruvian bark are separated from the alcohol extract called an infusion. This infusion will be mixed with the liqueur wine and alcohol and Lubéron white wine. After combining the different ingredients, the Gentiane de Lure is aged in a barrel for 6 weeks.

Plenty of herbal and citrus notes combining on the nose. Rich, ripe yet becomes slowly lighter. A burst of bold citrus on the palate, although subdues quickly to give a mellow, fresh aromatic herbal flavour. Lingering with a slight bitterness.

Distilleries et Domaines de Provence Noix de la Saint Jean – 15%

Produced by the infusion of green nuts obtained by maceration of fresh nuts (Dauphiné, Mayette and Franquette varieties) according to the tradition on St. John’s day (the origin of the name of this aperitif). The nuts are crushed in an old arm crusher then placed to macerate in a mixture of wine and alcohol for 6 to 12 days in order to extract all of the aromatic part of the fruit. A maceration of stain of dry nuts also is made.
A maceration of spices (cinnamon, cloves, peppers, nutmeg) is made fifteen days before the final product is created.
When these macerations end, they draw out the infusions: green nut infusion, nut stain infusion and infusion of aromatics to add them to the aperitif. The fruit or spices are then distilled.
The infusions, spirits and flavors are mixed into the wine, sugar and alcohol to make the Noix de la Saint Jean. Then, it will be necessary to wait 5 to 6 months in order to drink the aperitif.

Lots of walnut, dried fruit and oatmeal bread notes on the nose. Ripe berry flavours upon the palate, with a slight sweetness creating a smooth texture. Aromatic walnut is present on the lingering finish.

Distilleries et Domaines de Provence Orange Colombo – 15%

Produced by creating orange infusions made from orange rinds, Côte d’Azur type “green ribbons,” and sweet orange rinds macerated in a water and alcohol mixture. After combining the various ingredients, it is then aged in a barrel for 6 weeks.

Ripe orange ring hits the nose first, but mellows slightly with orange spice and mandarin aromas. Well-balanced on the palate, with sweeter notes counteracting the bitter orange. Plenty of aromatic orange zest on the light yet very dry finish.

Distilleries et Domaines de Provence Rinquinquin – 15%

Three variety of peaches are picked when ripe, including The Cardinale, The Coronet and The Junegold. The peaches are picked at the end of October when they start to take on their golden colour. The fruit and leaves are placed to macerate separately in mixtures of alcohol and wine, and takes between 6 and 12 months to obtain the fruit and leaves aromas for the resulting infusions. After blending the three peach infusions, the Rinquinquin is aged in barrels for 6 months.

Intense, ripe peaches on the nose, with a slight citrus zest coming through. Natural sweetness of the peaches come through on the palate, with a bold, dry hit of the peach hitting near the flesh driven finish.

Some fantastic aperitifs here, and ones to enjoy either on its own, over ice, or as part of one of these –

Manhattan
Manhattan

Manhattan

Glass –

Martini

Ingredients – 

45 ml Rye Whisky
15 ml Rinquinquin
1 drop of Angostura Bitters

Method –

Mix the ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a Martini glass.

or perhaps,

Coolombo

Coolombo
Coolombo

Glass – 

Rocks

Ingredients – 

40 ml Orange Colombo
20 ml Cranberry juice
10 ml lime juice

Method – 

Mix all the ingredients in a shaker and serve in the ice-filled glass. Decorate with 2 cherries on a stick in the glass.

Some fantastic ideas to enjoy a refreshing alternative to your usual tipple. Bartenders are coming across these flavours more and more, offering simple ideas to enjoy not just before a meal, but whatever time of day. Pick yourself a bottle or two up and take your palate in a different direction this Spring.

© 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.