Génépi, Chartreuse, Sapinette… These liqueurs that make up the flavor of our mountains

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The Chartreuse, still alive

It comes from afar, this recipe! It is said that the monks of the Grande-Chartreuse have kept it since 1605. If the 130 plants that make it up (among which are lemon balm, artemisia, betony, chamomile, blessed thistle, small centaury, lavender, sage, blackcurrant, marjoram, hyssop , sweet clover, thyme) do not grow exclusively in the mountains, it is in this massif, at the foot of the resorts of Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse or Saint-Hugues les Egaux, that they have always produced it.

The Izzarra of the Pyrenees

It’s not just in the Alps that plants are used to create good liqueurs. The Pyrenees also have their own recipe: Izzarra. Created more than a century ago near Hendaye, in the Basque Country, this drink means “star” in the Basque language. Green Izarra is an alchemy of no less than 16 plants, spices (whose dominant note is peppermint) and Armagnac. For the yolk, with the taste of honey, 13 plants are involved in the production.

The “Bridge” of the Jura

In the Jura, we like fir liqueur (Le Vert Sapin as they say), but also Pontarlier-Anis. This aniseed aperitif was created by Armand Guy in 1921 and is colloquially called the “bridge” by the locals. It is the Pierre Guy de Pontarlier distillery which continues to market it. If we add a fir syrup from the region, we drink a “sapont”. A comforting treat after a day of skiing in the Jura!

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The larch liqueur that we drink in Serre-Chevalier

Those who ski in Serre-Chevalier know it: the valley is dotted with magnificent larches, which make the mountain more beautiful. But larch can also be drunk. After losing its needles in winter, this conifer adorns itself with young buds once spring comes. All that remains is to pick them and macerate them in alcohol to obtain a delicious liqueur. Made in particular at the Distillerie des 4 Frères, run by the Ribuot family and titrated at 35°, it retains a typical and inimitable taste of resin.



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