Thursday, 23 July 2009

Bordeaux Liqueurs

We are all familiar with the great wines of Bordeaux but the region has also produced liqueurs for centuries . . .

Cordial Médoc is a difficult liqueur to find although it was once held in high esteem. Apparently it was a liqueur flavoured with orange Curacao, cognac, Médoc claret, herbs and violets but some accounts also say it was made with either coffee or chocolate. Has anyone tasted it or know anything about it? Another mystery is Perline d'Aquitaine as all that remains is a poster!

However Bordeaux is full of surprises and its liqueurs range from the long forgotten and obscure to the world famous and elite: a llittle known fact is that the prestigious First Growth Chateau Mouton Rothschild makes an Eau de Vie de Prunes (Plum Cognac) and a Liqueur de Cassis (Blackcurrant Liqueur).

Bordeaux is also home to one of the most important liqueur manufacturers: that of Marie Brizard and Roger of Bordeaux. In 1755 Marie Brizard, the daughter of a barrel maker in Bordeaux, discovered Thomas, a West Indian sailor from the ship Intrépide, lying in a corner of the Place de la Bourse burning with fever. Marie nursed him back to health and in gratitude he gave her the recipe for Anisette, a liquorice flavoured liqueur.

Marie's nephew, Paul Brizard, was a sea captain and he brought the ingredients for the recipe back to his aunt, and together they established a company making liqueurs. Anisette de Bordeaux was Marie's most famous liqueur and the drinks were introduced to the court of Louis XV. Soon after the company became a supplier of the Royal Court of Versailles.

Over the centuries the Marie Brizard brand has produced liqueurs such as Parfait Amour, Eau de Cèdre (Cedar), Eau de Café (Coffee), Eau de Cacao (Chocolate), Eau de Cannelle (Cinnamon), Eau de Angélique (Angelica), Crème de Barbade and Vanille de Madagascar as well as the more traditional Apry (Apricot), Crème de Cassis (Blackcurrant), Liqueur de Fraise (Strawberry) and Poire William.

Today the company is known as Marie Brizard et Roget International and also produces spirit brands Cognac Gautier, San José Tequila, and Old Lady's Gin; as well as wine, vodka and whisky.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have an unopened bottle of something called marie brizard,creme de cacao-chouao a la vanille. It does not have a year listed but is Very old. Do you know of a way I can find out how old this bottle is ?