Apértif from Thuir in Southern France created in 1866 by brothers Simon and Pallade Violet. Byrrh is made from Grenache and Carignan base wines from Roussillon. It has herbs and spices added such as cinchona Bark (quinine), cinnamon, elder flowers, orange peel, cacao, and chamomile. This creates a light and fruity apértif that registers at 18% alcohol. Perfect on the rocks, or mixed with tonic or soda water with a twist. It also combines well with other liquors. Perfect for a Negroni!
Byrrh is also famous for their advertising. They have many posters and cartoons created by famous and amateur artist. Contest were held with hundreds of entries. There is a full range of styles from cartoons to realistic images with lots of different subjects revolving around the beverage. Many of these advertisements have been featured in popular movies and tv shows such as An American in Paris, The Great Escape, Saving Private Ryan, and Mad Men.
The company and family also have a long and interesting history. After the Violet brother’s invention and running of the company, operations were handed down to the wives and daughters, and was primarily a woman run company for decades. They were very proactive with their employees and community. Offering paid time off and health benefits including maternity leave, and pay for injured employees. Mostly unheard of at the time.
The manufacturing facility in Thuir was also revolutionary. There is a train stop in the middle of the building where the train could take products directly to the nearby port for shipping. The facility itself was partially designed by Gustave Eiffel himself. It is also home to the world’s largest oak barrel with a capacity of over one million liters! Today Byrrh offers a fantastic and immersive tour of their facility. Definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area!
Pronounced like “Beer”