Originally posted on DRINKS ENTHUSIAST:

Egg White

Giffard is a name that you may be familiar with if you’ve ever scanned the products of your favourite bar. A brand of liqueurs and syrups, Giffard have had a main-stay presence for over 100 years, and are still to this day consistently evolving their expressions to fit with the modern times. But how did such a company come about?

1885, the year that a gentleman named Emile Giffard was named as a dispensing pharmacist in Angers (Val de Loire) in France. His mind didn’t stop there though, as he undertook research on the digestive and refreshing properties of mint, and came up with a refined white mint liqueur. His test market happened to be the Grand Hotel’s customers, in order to relieve them from heat, and immediate success ensued. With this, Emile changed his pharmacy into a distillery and called his liqueur Menthe Pastille, referring to the mint sweets which were…

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Every reason to be sour !

Over the last few years we’ve seen a genuine interest and resurgence in classic cocktail categories from martinis to flips, fizzes and back again! The category de jour seems to be the sour, which in itself is one of the oldest ‘families’ and includes the likes of the Margarita, Daiquiri and the Sidecar. As with many of the great classic styles it is built up on the 3 pillars of spirit, citrus (traditionally lemon) and sweetener (sugar syrup, triple sec, grenadine). The earliest printed reference of the classic sour cocktail can be found in Jerry Thomas’ The Bartenders Guide dating back to 1862. This recipe is using whiskey, however variations of this were being drunk for many many years before and will have most probably seen whiskey being substituted by gin and brandy by the English. Here’s that original Jerry Thomas recipe:

Jerry Thomas' The Bartenders Guide

Jerry Thomas’ Bartenders Guide

Use small bar-glass

Take 1 large tea-spoonful of powdered white sugar dissolved in a little Seltzer or Apollinaris water
The juice of half a small lemon
1 wine-glass of Bourbon or rye whiskey
Fill the glass full of shaved ice, shake up and strain into a claret glass. Ornament with berries.

As you can see this original did not call for egg white, which in the present day is the most common way to serve any sour. The addition of the egg white came much later on in the form of the Pisco Sour from Peru. This variation of this classic cocktail is sold in incredible numbers at places like Ceviche, Coya and Chotto Matte in London as well as numerous other bars and restaurants across Europe and the rest of the world. Created in Lima, Peru in the early 1920’s by Victor Vaughen Morris at his namesake Morris Bar, this was a popular spot for the Peruvian upper class and English speaking foreigners. At this point there is still no evidence of the infamous egg white but we finally get to thank Mario Bruiget for adding this and also a few dashes of Angostura bitters. Mario also worked at Morris bar and what we would now consider to be the modern day sour recipe was finally born towards the end of the 1920’s.

Fast forward to present day and the addition of egg white to any drink can sometimes be a concern for bar operators and consumers alike, if the eggs are not stored correctly there is a real danger of salmonella. To help solve this problem Giffard recently released Egg White Sugar Syrup, which is certainly a fantastic alternative for these customers and venues who may have issues with fresh egg white (see below for a classic Pisco Sour recipe including Giffard Egg White Syrup).

Giffard Egg White - 700 ml

Giffard Egg White

With there being a lot of love around the globe for so many timeless cocktails we are seeing the classic sour along with some incredible twists and variations appearing on more and more drinks lists. This can only be a good thing as when made well this is one of the best cocktails you will ever have! The perfect balance of the sweet and sour complimented by a premium spirit (you can’t go wrong with Pisco, whisky or gin) and all rounded off with the beautiful velvety texture of the egg white makes for one tasty libation and deserves its place as one of the best classic cocktails of all time.

Pisco Sour

30ml Giffard Egg White
20ml Fresh Lemon juice
60ml Pisco
dash Angostura bitters

Hard shake first 3 ingredients with ice for at least 45 seconds and strain into glass. Add a dash bitters to the top of the drink.

Pisco sour

Pisco sour

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The Giffard West Cup 2015 : Results

Early June. Angers France. 16 bartenders from 11 countries. It can only be one thing – The Giffard West Cup Final. Once a year Giffard hosts some of the worlds best and most creative bartenders as they go head to head in delivering their most imaginative cocktail made from the vast range of liqueurs produced by the this still family owned company. Since October 2014 this years finalists have been competing in regional heats starting with Singapore and finishing in the UK in May 2015.

Giffard West Cup 2015 - Angers

Giffard West Cup 2015 – Angers

The finalists all arrived in Angers on Sunday 7th June and once checked in were taken out for a special Menthe-Pastille exhibition at Angers “Musées des Beaux-Arts”. Indeed Giffard flagship product is celebrating its 130th anniversary this year, a great occasion to take a look at vintage posters ads from 1900′ to 1950′. Then a Gastronomic City Tour was planned. Teams were formed and had their grey cells tested by solving riddles about the ancient town of Angers. Their reward? A belly full of local food and wine with Quernons d’ardoise and Coteaux du Layon going down particularly well. They were also shown some of the historical points relating to Giffards long history including the old pharmacy of Emile Giffard and also his first distillery. After all was seen it was off to Angers only rooftop restaurant for dinner, more wine and some checking out of the competition.

Giffard West Cup 2015

Giffard West Cup 2015

Monday 8th June. competition day. As expected the standard was high, the drinks were flowing and the atmosphere was competitively friendly. The rules were simple – create 1 drink which must include a minimum of 1cl Giffard Liqueur (either in the Premium or Classic range) and a minimum of 0.5cl Bigallet China China. This year also included a special 2nd round dedicated to Menthe-Pastille. There were 2 judging parts for each challenge: An execution part (presentation, dexterity, professionalism, technical efficiency while mixing , respect of time …) , and a tasting (cocktail appearance, aroma and taste) with final marking being the average between the 2 cocktail challenges  (each cocktail counting for 50% ).

Results :

1st Prize : Uwe Reichert from “Rule 405” – Berlin – Germany

Uwe Reichert - 1st Prize

Uwe Reichert – 1st Prize

2nd Prize : Veronica Saye from Food & Liquor – Toronto – Canada

Veronica Saye - 2nd Prize

Veronica Saye – 2nd Prize

3rd Prize : Pavlos Aslanidis from Mojo Cocktail Bar – Thessaloniki – Greece

Pavlos Aslanidis - 3rd Prize

Pavlos Aslanidis – 3rd Prize

Special Prize of the Jury for the Liqueurs Challenge : Yael Vengroff from The Spare Room – Los Angeles – USA

Yael Vengroff  -  " Liqueurs Challenge" Winner

Yael Vengroff – Winner ” Liqueurs Challenge”

Special Prize of the Jury for the Menthe-Pastille Challenge : Kino Soh from Hopscotch Bar -Singapore.

Kino Soh - "Menthe-Pastille Challenge" Winner

Kino Soh – “Menthe-Pastille Challenge” Winner

And that wrapped up a great couple of days with a fantastic group of bartenders all competing for their love of the industry. Oh and just maybe bragging rights too! No big prize or cheque waiting for them at the end, just a group hug and fond memories of time spent with their peers and the fun had in the city of Angers. A genuine pleasure to see how many bartenders are still happy to be part of our incredible industry and inspired by the people around them. You do the bartending family proud.

Santé !

Video available : Giffard West Cup 2015 Video and photos.

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Giffard enjoyed a double celebration at Bar 1806 Melbourne !

Johnny & Alex Iodice ,Arthur Piffoux , Léo Leriche, Blake Hall

Johnny & Alex Iodice, Arthur Piffoux , Léo Leriche, Blake Hall

We all know that the hospitality industry rarely needs an excuse to celebrate – ‘Oh look its Tuesday lets celebrate’….’Did you say you’ve got tomorrow off? We should celebrate immediately’….’I see you are celebrating, we should toast to that’…You get the idea! So when we let the news out that we were not just celebrating the launch of our beautiful newly designed liqueur bottle but also announcing our Melbourne Brand Ambassador, well you can imagine the party that followed.

Bar 1806 in the CBD area of Melbourne and aptly named after the year the word ‘cocktail’ was first defined in print, played host to the cities finest, who were treated to not 1 but 2 guest bartenders for the evening. First up we had Mike Cheong Jit Hao from Singapore. Mike is a Bartender at W Hotels Worldwide in Singapore, he was 2nd at the Giffard East Cup last September in Singapore and also recently won La Maison de Cointreau in Bangkok. Next up there was David Alexander Xander Stucken from Perth, where he tends the bar at Varnish on King. He’s also the new rookie of West Australia.

David Alexander Xander

David Alexander Xander Stucken

Everyone was treated to 3 of Mikes Giffard creations, one of which won him his second place in the East Cup (See below for full recipes). With these tasty libations in hand it gave plenty of opportunities to toast Giffards’ new man about Melbourne Blake Hall. Blake is a fantastic bartender who has worked at Katuk, The Woods of Windsor, and Golden Monkey. Hopefully he’ll be heading over to see you soon (if you work in Melbourne that is) so be sure to give him a celebratory high 5!!

Mike Cheong Jit Hao

Mike Cheong Jit Hao

CUP OF TEA (placed 2nd in Giffard East Cup)
30ml 42 Below Feijoa
25ml Passionfruit Puree
30ml Chrysanthemum Tea

Method: Shake & Strain
Glassware: Rock
Garnish: Cucumber Slice

30ml Giffard Triple Sec
30ml Coconut Milk
3 Slices Fresh Mango
60ml Coconut Water

Method: Muddle Mango then add all other ingredients. Shake & Strain
Glassware: Martini
Garnish: Smoke Salt

15ml Havana 7yrs Rum
15ml Giffard Amaretto
15ml Fresh Lime Juice
60ml Apple Juice

Method: Shake & Strain
Glassware: Rock
Garnish: Flamed Cinnamon Powder

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The Giffard West Cup Preselections : Bar Tour in Copenhagen

The Giffard West Cup Preselections in Europe started on Wednesday 18th March in Denmark. Organized by Giffard’s danish Liqueur Distributor Sprit & Co ( the competition took place in Copenhagen.

China-China Bigallet & Crème de Café Giffard

China-China Bigallet & Crème de Café Giffard

Nine top Bars of the city were selected to participate:

  • Oak Room with Marius Pethelis
  • Duck & Cover with Sebastian Krunderup
  • Restaurant Kul with Simon Fresco
  • Lidkoeb with Patrick Graser
  • Honey Ride Bar with Peter Møller Jensen
  • Ruby Bar with Jeppe Nothlev
  • Balderdash with Kristine Soltoft
  • 1105 with Ulrich Steffensen
  • Strøm Bar with Adam Borch

The rules were pretty simple to let the bartender’s creativity work … They had to use a minimum of 1 cl of a Giffard Liqueur ( ) and 0,5 cl of Bigallet China China Liqueur ( ), a unique bitter liqueur produced by the Bigallet company in the French Alps.

The Jury was composed of the bar Manager of each selected location – of course they couldn’t judge their own bar. Oscar Svendsen (Sprit & Co- Owner) and I ( Pauline Quigis – Giffard Operational Marketing Europe) were also members of the decision Team.

The Judge team took the bus for a pretty intense Bar Tour through all Copenhagen to taste the cocktails realized by the competitors in their own bar. A pretty original and exciting way to organize a preselection.

Bar Tour in Copenhagen

Bar Tour in Copenhagen

This busy day started at Oak Room and finished at Balderdash for the deliberation and the results announcement. The level was high and tight, which made the choice hard to make but we were all impressed by the quality of the drinks and the presentations of the candidates. We all enjoyed the nice atmosphere of the Balderdash where everybody gathered for a well deserved party !

Winner:  Sebastian Krunderup of Duck & Cover who impressed the Jury with his cocktail, Cph Spritz. He will represent Denmark for the international final in France on the 8th of June in Angers. Second place was awarded to Jeppe Nothlev from Ruby Bar while third place went to Peter Møller Jensen from Honey Ride Bar.

Sebastian Krunderup - 1st Prize

Sebastian Krunderup – 1st Prize

Pauline Quigis – Operational Marketing Europe

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The Thinking Drinkers Interview

Tom Sandham and Ben McFarland otherwise known as The Thinking Drinkers are busy people, and when we say busy we mean BUSY! From writing for top publications to touring in their own theatre show, there really aren’t many people working as hard as these 2 in trying to make the world a better place to drink in. They recently picked up the Imbibe ‘Educator of the Year’ award and Giffard managed meet up with them for a ‘very serious’ chat about the awards and what The Thinking Drinkers are all about:

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MxMo: Banana Panic with a Martini Mashup

Giffard Liqueurs & Syrups:

Some inspiration to use our Banane du Brésil Liqueur !

Originally posted on Rated R Cocktails:

So if you’ve read Rated R Cocktails before you know classic cocktails are not my bag. Sure I love a Negroni, a French 75, a Rob Roy, and a hipster juice, but Tiki is my bag. It’s only because I love my longtime Twitter and Mixoloseum buddy Dagreb from Nihil Utopia that I participate in this month’s MxMo. I do love Martini’s but this month we’re making “Not A Martini”.

Okay so confessional time, I love gin. Gin sadly does not last around here because I tend to drink it straight with a lime twist. My Alcoholism aside I also love Martini’s, but I won’t be happy without olives. To me a martini needs olives, and all the twists in the world won’t replace them, though that doesn’t mean I want you to add olive juice. Read this: If I come in to your bar and order a martini…

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