A traditional French aperitif which dates back to mid 19th century, and is well known for its iconic poster campaigns.
Pronounced “BeerR”, to the confusion of bartenders worldwide, Byrrh is made with aromatised port-style red wine, combined with mistelle (unfermented grape juice), and quinine. Byrrh is produced in the French-Catalan town of Thuir, in the historic Caves Byrrh cellars (expansive warehouses said to contain the largest oak barrel in the world, capable of holding over a million litres).
In the period when Byrrh was first produced, quinine was seen as something of a miracle cure, due to its malaria-resistant properties. In the 1800s, a great many “tonic wines” like Byrrh were produced (along with tonic water), with supposed medical qualities. Whilst no longer recommended as medicine, Byrrh remains as delicious as ever, serving up notes of rooty spice, earthiness, bittersweet quinine, coffee, toffee, red berries, quinine, red wine and dark chocolate.
Serve over ice with an orange slice, or mix with soda, lemonade or tonic water for a real quinine bomb.