portfolio ➜ producers
In 1866, brothers and traveling merchants Simon and Pallade Violet opened a shop in Thuir with a few small barrels of wine. Simon created a unique recipe from a blend of fine Roussillon wines flavoured with plant extracts and enhanced with cinchona bark (quinine). At first called simply “Hygienic Tonic Wine with Cinchona,” the beverage was named Byrrh in 1876. According to one story, the name is a random invention: the letters B Y R R H were simply code letters attached to a few rolls of cloth stored in the haberdashery owned by the Violet brothers. The company expanded rapidly beginning in the late 1800s, and the Violet family built the expansive cellars that exist today. Caves Byrrh contain the largest oak vat in the world, with a capacity of over 1 million liters.
Byrrh Grand Quinquina
France ➜ Roussillon 18.0% ABV
Byrrh Grand Quinquina is made to the original late-19th century recipe that earned worldwide fame and inspired fifty years of evocative poster art. Byrrh combines a generous, port-like wine and mistelle base with a firm backbone of natural quinine to produce a fruity, refreshing aperitif by itself, with tonic and a twist, or paired with blue cheese. In cocktails, Byrrh mixes well with vodka, gin, cognac, tequila, Irish whiskey, and grapefruit. Byrrh is produced in Thuir, in the heart of French Catalan territory, near the coast and border with Spain. Full details