Liqueurs and Aperitifs
Apparently, the reason that Maison Gabriel Boudier use flat-sided, quadrilateral bottles is because there was a glass shortage during the Second World War and an American military leader paid for a consignment of gin to be produced with gin bottles imported from the U.S.A. Customers were so delighted to be able to buy their favourite liqueurs; an executive decision was made to keep the 'square' bottles thereafter. The veracity of this story is unproven but no one questions the fact that the Boudier beverages are amongst the best of their kind.
The blackcurrant-based Cassis is the best-known and most popular liqueur produced at their Dijon headquarters but all of their drinks are made with the finest fruit they can source and have clear varietal flavours. As well as mixing well with dry white still and sparkling wine they can also be used to enhance fruit puddings.
Pineau des Charentes is a sweet and uplifting blend of grape juice and Cognac that is traditionally served chilled as an aperitif or accompaniment to the local melons. The 'Réserve' version is aged in oak barrels and has a tawny colour and vanilla notes which lends itself well to after dinner drinking.
Floc de Gascogne is made along very similar lines but uses Armagnac instead of Cognac. The version we ship from Château de Millet is made using red grapes and has a brick red robe and a wealth of ripe hedgerow berry flavours.
Ratafia Champenois is produced by blending grape juice and Champagne brandy and was popularised by sailors as it remained stable on sea voyages. Gilles Dumangin's bottling has diverse dried fruit scents and flavours and pairs well with chocolate desserts.
Julian Temperley's 'Kingston Black Aperitif' is a blend of Cider Brandy and apple juice that should be served cold as a pre-prandial pick-me-up or as an alluring accompaniment to apple pie.