Created in 1932 by the twenty three year old entrepreneur, Paul Ricard, founder of what is today one of the biggest drink empires in the world – Pernod-Ricard. The Ricard company’s commitment to providing both trade partners and consumers with a consistently high-quality spirit starts with the selection of ingredients. Every year, a team of experts from Ricard travels to southern China where badian or star anis grows. They choose the best fruit during the harvest, carefully following the production process up to the first distillation. That takes place on site, the better to capture the badian’s rich flavour, which is turned into oil of aniseed. Liquorice is the other natural ingredient that brings out the anise flavour. Their search for the best plants often leads Ricard’s flavour specialists to the banks of the Euphrates. It’s vital to choose the plants with the most intense aromas. Only the roots are kept, which are dried in the sun and then cut up into sticks. The oil of aniseed and liquorice sticks are sent to Ricard’s flavour preparation centre in Bessan, a small village near Béziers in south west France. There, the oil of aniseed is purified and the liquorice undergoes a three-stage hot maceration process. The essential oils and blend of natural extracts of liquorice and aromatic Provençal plants are then delivered to the various production centres. The different ingredients are carefully combined using a closely-guarded technique that ensures the consistency of Ricard’s taste and aroma.To fully appreciate the unique blend of anise, liquorice and the herbs of Provence, mix one part Ricard with five parts water and ice. 45% alc./vol.
Tasting note:The first aromatic blast is seductively anise-like, then it mellows, turning softer, more herbal, and plumper. At palate entry the intensely bitter taste of anise both enlivens and cleanses the palate; at midpalate the pleasant sting of alcohol and the zest of rooty/woodsy botanicals make for memorable imbibing. Finishes elegant and smooth.