Do you fancy fine-tuning your palate and learning how to appreciate the delights of pastis, peach liqueur and gin? Experts from Distilleries et Domaines de Provence are hosting a very special virtual tasting experience this month – and the first 20 people to sign up will receive a FREE bottle of pastis.
Join the award-winning DDP team for a unique tasting of Rinquinquin, Henri Bardouin and their latest Gold Medal Gin XII on Wednesday, September 29 at 7pm GMT. This live-stream offers a rare chance to have your senses guided by some of the best noses in the business. You can buy Rinquinquin, Henri Bardouin and Gin XII for a discount at www.thedrinkshop.com and don’t delay – sign up now for your chance of that free bottle of pastis.
Distilleries et Domaines de Provence were founded in 1898 at Forcalquier in Haute-Provence, and have been making aperitifs and Provençal liqueurs for over 100 years. They pride themselves on their traditional methods and long-established distillery practices, alongside their talent for moving with the times and offering modern palates exactly what they want. Today DDP’s specialities are sold in over 78 countries all around the world.
A complex and elegant Grand Cru, Henri Barduoin Pastis is not just any aniseed spirit. Its secret lies in the perfect blend of over 65 plants and spices that have been picked, macerated, distilled and balanced to perfection. Its complexity and finesse make Henri Bardouin pastis a true pastis for tasting. The balance between the 65 plants and spices that make up Henri Bardouin pastis is perfect. Its intensity is powerful and its aromatic profile is elegant. Henri Bardouin pastis leaves the person tasting it on a complex, spicy aromatic final note.
HOW IT IS MADE
The ingredients selected to go into Henri Bardouin Pastis are sourced far and wide: star anise from China; liquorice from Turkey; grains of paradise from the Great Lakes region; Tonka beans from Guyana, cardamom from the Indian Ocean. Certain plants, such as thyme, rosemary, savoury or sage are harvested in the terroir of Forcalquier itself. The place, like the exact date, of the harvest changes every year. However, some always come from the same place, such as the lemon verbena from Forcalquier. Others, of course including the spices, come from countries farther away, such as China for star anise or Syria for liquorice.
HOW TO DRINK IT
Henri Bardouin Pastis is drunk as an aperitif, finished with water. Generally, six volumes of cold water are added for one volume of pastis. A pastis for tasting requires a greater dilution than industrial pastis, in order to appreciate its fine aromatic flavours. But, everyone is free to drink it more or less light, as desired as depending on the outside temperature.
Appearance: The colour of Henri Bardouin Pastis is yellowish brown, shimmering with green highlights due only to the presence of plants, including wormwood. There are no colorants. The product is clear and brilliant.
Nose: The first anise note then moves aside for plant aromas, then the more exotic spices, such as cardamom, melegueta pepper, Tonka bean, etc.
Palate: A sharp attack of plants then a more structured evolution due to the presence of the wormwood (Artemisia vulgaris) and more complex due to the presence of spices, to finish by a good aromatic persistence.
Sweet and light, fruity and subtly feminine, RinQuinQuin is the aperitif par excellence. An unexpected blend of peaches, peach leaves gathered in autumn, sugar and white wine, made following a traditional recipe. RinQuinQuin is a classic aperitif that is as Provençal as a sunshiny day. In fact, the name Rinquinquin, meaning a refreshing drink, comes from a word in the local dialect—requinquilhar, ‘to cheer up’. A name commonly given to refer to one’s favourite tipple. Historically in Provence, the peach tree often was seen as therapeutic, an aspect that has now been completely forgotten. In medicine, its leaves, flower and seeds, as well as the sap of the peach tree were used. The leaves and flowers were used for their laxative, diuretic, calming and deworming properties. The peach itself was soaked in wine and used for its aperitif properties… the aperitif as a potion became the aperitif for pleasure. The name RinQuinQuin in Provençal means an invigorating drink (from the verb requincilhar: strengthening). This was frequently the way that one’s aperitif or digestive were named. This aperitif, as surprising as it is delicate, comes from a family recipe refined by Distilleries et Domaines de Provence to give it the colours and flavours of Provence.
HOW IT IS MADE
A variety of peaches are selected and the fruits are picked when ripe. Peach tree leaves are picked at the end of October right at the time when they take on their golden colour, but before being carried away by the Mistral wind. The fruit and leaves are stored to macerate separately in mixtures of alcohol and wine, in order to extract all of the aromatic strength. It takes between 6 and 12 months of “close” contact to obtain all of the aromatic subtlety of the fruit and leaves in resulting infusions. After assembly of the various components, RinQuinQuin is “aged” in steel vats for 6 weeks to give it time to round off and to be harmonised. Then, it is filtered, inspected, tasted and bottled.
HOW TO DRINK IT
An unusual blend of peaches, peach tree leaves gathered in autumn, sugar and white wine, RinQuinQuin is the Provençal aperitif par excellence! Natural, fresh and made exclusively from Provençal fruit, RinQuinQuin promises the intense flavour of sun-blushed peach! As an aperitif, RinQuinQuin is drunk neat and chilled, adding ice cubes if desired.
Appearance: The colour of RinQuinQuin is yellow with golden highlights. Its appearance is clear and brilliant.
Bouquet: Its nose is intense on the peach flesh with a lemony, citrus note. The freshness, from peach leaves, also gives a vegetal note.
Palate: On the tongue, its peach aromas give it a very powerful sweet, fruity flavory. The taste is intense, pleasant, and rich with peach and candy-like sweetness. RinQuinQuin is a light, fresh aperitif, with a round taste.
Gin XII owes its name to the 12 plants and spices that go into its creation. It is characterised by fresh, minty, floral, slightly spicy notes and a beautifully lingering finish. A dry gin with a rich, authentic taste, born of a long period of research and reflection. The choice of plants to accompany the juniper and the exact proportion of each come from a simple idea: to obtain a dry gin with a rich, authentic taste. All of this distillation is performed in a copper plate column still that enables the development of greater balance and finesse in the flavours, and thus the extraction of the aromas that give Gin XII its particular style.
HOW IT IS MADE
Gin XII is infused with 12 plants and spices that express the character, typical style and aromatic intensity of a stroll through the garrigue: Juniper – Coriander – Sweet almond – Thyme – Angelica – Grains of paradise – Iris – Cardamom – Basil – Rosemary – Eucalyptus – Mint. Gin XII is craft-distilled creating a subtle range of aromas. It is characterised by fresh, minty, floral, slightly spicy notes and a beautifully lingering finish. A dry gin with a rich, authentic taste, born of a long period of research and reflection. Gin XII takes full advantage of its Haute-Provence terroir and its subtle blend of herbs such as thyme, rosemary, basil, eucalyptus, sweet almond and mint, which join forces with small juniper berries to express the aromatic intensity of a stroll through the garrigue!
HOW TO DRINK IT
Gin XII is perfect as a cocktail, for example the famous gin and tonic (one part gin to two parts tonic), or for the more initiated, just served with a splash of sparkling water and perhaps also some lemon juice and a little sugar syrup.
Nose: juniper with fresh, minty and floral notes.
Palate: clean and vibrant juniper in the attack, very aromatic development, ending with an intense, aromatic, lingering finish. Gin XII is powerful with a garrigue, terroir style thanks to its fresh, pepper, camphor, mint, refined and floral notes.