A wine-based aperitif, Byrrh has the specific characteristic of being flavoured with quinine. Its alcohol content is 18°.
The basic grapes, mainly the Carignan and Grenache varieties from the hillsides of Roussillon, are transformed into mistelles (partly fermented grape juice), which are then blended with selected dry red Roussillon wines.
Byrrh is drunk as an aperitif. It is best served cool, at approximately 16°, and goes well with a twist of lemon zest or a little Crème de Cassis.
In 1866, Simon Violet and a pharmacist friend, both from Thuir, in the PyrÃ©nÃ©es Orientales region of France, invented a new quinine-based aperitif.Â Benefiting from the fashion for quinine tonic wines, Byrrh soon became popular throughout France.Â Starting in 1903, advertising poster competitions were launched to promote the brand.Â Boosted by extensive advertising campaigns, Byrrh was a huge hit in the 1930s.Â In 1935Â it was the leading aperitif brand in France, with sales reaching 35 million litres.Â In 1976, Byrrh became part of Pernod Ricard.