THE FRENCH SIPPING SODA
First of all ... Why Archibald?
It all starts with an idea ... or rather with a need for the creation of an organic and French bitter soda to lengthen the Folle Envie aperitif. OK, but how do you make a tonic when you're a distiller? Simply, as we make a spirit. After all, nothing better than distillation to extract the quintessential aromas.
But why this name? Archibald means "natural & audacious", 2 key words that have a permanent resonance in this project!
1. THE DISTILLERY: CRAFTSMANSHIP AND MEN
Distilling is an art, an ancestral know-how rooted in French heritage.
And when we talk about distillery know-how, a wide range of relevant expertise is deployed. Because yes, in a distillery, we don't just distill: we are looking for precise ingredients, we infuse, we macerate, we select barrels, we age, we blend ...
Master Distiller for 6 generations
In the Archibald adventure, there are 3 old friends, including a distiller who has taken over the family distillery, succeeding the 5 previous generations. Thus Archibald is made by spirits experts in an old distillery from 1830 near Cognac.
Passionate men with a know-how of craft spirits
Above all, behind Archibald, they are men. Committed men, men who are obsessed with taste and a job well done, and men who are proud. Because it is also a great pride that hovers in our old distillery: the pride of mixing our knowledge of spirits to use with tonic.
2. THE SINGULAR CRAFTING OF ARCHIBALD
An organic and French bitter soda ... therefore without quinine
It's common sense: a French tonic is made from plants that grow in France.
So we had to reinvent the tonic recipe, which normally contains quinine for bitterness because quinine is an extract of quiquina that grows in South America or India ... but not in France.
The French plant chosen to play this crucial role is then the gentian which grows in the meadows of Auvergne, to which we will associate juniper berries (often associated with gin).
Fine distillates of
gentian root and juniper berry
Ah yes, but how can we properly incorporate gentian and juniper berries into a tonic? It becomes so obvious once you enter distillery and can see that a technique exists that allows you to select the best aromatic notes and to concentrate them…distillation! Here there are two distillations: one which soaks the juniper berries and another for the gentian roots.
The real value of the master distiller’s knowledge is that these incredibly concentrated extracts will be added in such small quantities that in the end, Archibald will remain a non-alcoholic beverage.
A meticulous blend and very fine bubbles
And what about the water? You don’t have to go far: the water that we add in the distillery is perfect to mix with the gentian and juniper berry extracts.
Finally, with tonic, you need bubbles! The blend produced rests in the gasifier with yet again, a traditional method creating extremely fine and elegant bubbles.
3. LIMITED BATCHES:
ANOTHER VISION OF THE SIPPING SODA
Limited editions ...
... which make sense for Archibald
A DNA THAT OFFERS INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITIES TO EXPLORE
A new and eco-responsible expression of distillery know-how : this is the
essence of Archibald, the sipping soda. An extraordinary potential waiting to be explored, opening up a huge realm of possibilities!
THE MASTER DISTILLER'S CALL FOR CREATIVITY
Single Malt, Rum, Whisky, Cognac, ... whatever the category, a Master-Distiller applies his discipline andexpertise into creating a timeless product. But like every passionate artist, he also loves to express his know-how and creativity through producing rare limited batches.
Finally... "Because reinventing Archibald for a limited batch is asserting its identity as a distilled tonic". That is the purpose of Archibald's Limited Batches!
ARCHIBALD'S FIRST LIMITED EDITION:
A SIPPING SO MADE FROM GENTIAN AND BERGAMOT DISTILLATES, AGED IN OAK BARREL!
Naturally, the Archibald Master Distiller marks this first limited edition with the daring challenge of ageing soda in a barrel! It is a sipping soda which plays by the rules.
On one hand, based on the original Archibald recipe - such as blending with local spring water, no addition of quinine, using a craft method of carbonisation to ensure fine bubbles - on the other hand, it adds certain elements which differenciate it from the Original...
Gentian Root and Bergamot
Exit the juniper berry which is replaced here by a citrus fruit: the bergamot. Regarding the gentian root, it is preserved, but only with a fresh quality.
Taking into account our requirements in terms of aromatic profile, quality, organic certification, good practices and the closest possible origin: after several trials, we selected an Italian producer for bergamot and our usual gatherers in Auvergne for the wild gentian root.
Precise distillation in pot still
First gentian root and bergamot rinds are macerated. Part of these two macerates will be blended as they are, the other part will be distilled separately to extract the aromatic quintessence of each ingredient, using our traditional Charentais copper still, now exclusively dedicated today to Archibald.
The combination of macerates and distillates will strengthen the aromatic complexity.
An audacious barrel-ageing process, never before attempted
The aim is to have a subtly woody, even smoky taste.
Our Master Distiller knows these empyreumatic notes well and masters them to perfection: putting in barrels, patiently ageing in the cellars, regularly following the organoleptic evolution of the product and thus determining the ideal moment for extraction.
For our sipping soda, he chose a new 114 litre barrel made from... American oak. But made locally by the master coopers of course;)
When US oak is heated,
it produces particularly gourmet notes which we wanted in our tonics (smoky, whisky and caramel aromas).
When heating the barrel, the interior becomes cracked, resembling the skin of a crocodile, hence the term ‘crocodile bousinage’.
Why American oak?
Why American oak?
SPECIAL EDITION N°2: A SIPPING SODA FRESH GENTIAN AND GINGER ROOTS FROM METROPOLITAN FRANCE!
With this special edition n°2, our master distiller boldly explores another facet of his know-how, and creates a less sweet alternative to ginger beer, with a soda with gentian roots & with fresh ginger from mainland France.
Gentian Root & fresh ginger from mainland France
This special edition n°2 is made with fresh ginger and gentian roots. Always with a view to respecting the planet and people, we went to get these two plants in mainland France to limit the number of kilometers travelled.
We have chosen fresh ginger roots from organic mainland France grown in a greenhouse (unheated) on a farm in the Brenne Natural Park, the land of 1000 ponds in Berry in France. Our organic and wild gentian roots are always picked by hand by our pickers in Auvergne, as for our other Archibald tonics.
A special edition which is elaborated in
For 10 days, the roots of fresh ginger are infused in demijohns to obtain a macerate with unique aromas. At the same time, a gentian distillate is produced: 3 weekss of work are necessary to achieve a distillate of perfect quality.
Everything is then carefully assembled before being mixed with spring water and cane sugar.
An alternative to ginger beer
We wanted to make a ginger beer our way and offer a less sweet and more refined alternative.
The result is a soda of incredible finesse and complexity, with spicy notes of ginger sublimated by the freshness of gentian.