Recipe for success
In 1858, Jean and Pierre Get unexpectedly found themselves the heirs to a leading French distillery that was originally owned by Jean-François Pons, an apothecary who arrived in Revel, France, in 1786. It was the very distillery in which Pons first concocted crème de menthe, which quickly became a tremendous success. When the Gets inherited the enterprise, they implemented a strong and innovative strategy and improved the traditional mint cream recipe. Still today, the history of crème de menthe remains very closely linked to the commune of Revel.
Building on their degrees in business, the brothers designed a powerful brand well before the advent of advertising. Fun fact: called Pippermint, the mint liqueur was a favourite of many artists of the time. Paul Cézanne even immortalized it in his work The Pippermint Bottle, which is part of the collection of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.
In 1975, to give new impetus to the crème de menthe, the liqueur was renamed Get 27 in honour of its creators and alcohol content. Since 1995, Get 27 has be produced in the south of France by Bacardi and distributed in 122 countries.
Today’s crème de menthe
Local distilleries have developed new mint cream recipes inspired by regional ingredients. Les Subversifs created Crème de menthe Isabelle, which is named after Isabelle Montour, a Métis woman who was deeply involved in Indigenous politics in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Made from grain alcohol and organic peppermint grown in Québec, Isabelle’s fresh flavours are rich and delicious. Serve on ice or in cocktails like the Stinger—a mix of white crème de menthe and brandy.
The distiller also concocted Crème de menthe Eva in memory of Eva Circé-Côté, a journalist, poet and playwright who spent her life fighting for the emancipation of women and denouncing economic and social injustices. This perfectly creamy mint liqueur makes an elegant digestif. With more minty zing than Isabelle, Eva is more along the lines of traditional mint creams but with a smoother and more modern aspect from the addition of Labrador tea.
Also in the line is Arthur, which is a nod to Montréal stage actor and performer Arthur Pétrie and his brilliant career. Unmistakably pink, this crème de menthe shows its softer side with the addition of wintergreen.
Anyone nostalgic for a delightful classic cocktail made from local spirits? The new mint creams will take you back in time and still keep you one foot in the present!
The Société des alcools du Québec offers a range of mint liqueurs from here and abroad. Go online to discover this versatile drink loved around the world!