We believe the creative work is timeless and should be seen and shared so in 2013 the Spirit of Art was born and a collection of late 19th and early 20th century advertisements went of display in London’s Covent Garden Market prior to starting a world tour. In the autumn of 2014 we set out to create a new, modern Spirit of Art collection again drawing upon the inspiration of those who know and love Menthe-Pastille and Giffard. Today’s artists and bartenders share their love of cocktails with their love of body art and a century on, a new Spirit of Art collection was born.
Spirit of Art
Photography by Theo Chalmers
A great cocktail demands the finest ingredients......
A great cocktail demands the finest ingredients. Why find the world's best gin for a
Tom Collins only to compromise it with just any lemon juice? A fruit liqueur must
have fresh, natural, high quality produce at its heart and the same is true of specialist
spirits such as Menthe-Pastille with its crisp peppermint base or the rich
orange core of China-China.
As you might expect from a French family business, the provenance, quality and
freshness of the ingredients in Giffard products is more than a passion, it is the very
essence of everything we do. We believe that the best ingredient is always flavour and
that means sourcing the very best natural produce and ensuring that the time
between harvesting and maceration is kept to the absolute minimum.
In 1885 it was widely believed that mint possessed medicinal benefits that aided
digestion and delivered restorative powers. Attracted by those claims, Emile Giffard,
an Angers pharmacist, imported the Mitcham Peppermint plant from Surrey, in
England and created Menthe-Pastille. The spirit's cool, clean and refreshing flavour
was an instant hit with visitors to Anjou that summer and it is still enjoyed neat,
over ice, by many in Angers where it's relatively low 24% alcohol content is often
preferred to stronger spirits. Over the years, Menthe-Pastille has inspired artists and
bartenders from around the world who have taken Emile Giffard's original
masterpiece as the base for world renowned cocktails such as the Stinger, or the
White Lady, or as the fuel for their paintings and other works of art.
10 years before Emile Giffard's success with Menthe-Pastille, at Isre in the French
Alps, the Bigallet brothers were perfecting their recipe for China-China. This
traditional orange based bitter is distilled multiple times in small copper alembic stills
and each time the spirit is macerated with a combination of sweet and bitter orange
peels. The final infusi