The VERVEINE DU VELAY
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Pagès Distillery

In 1859, Joseph Rumillet-Charretier, an herbalist apothecary, created in Le Puy-en-Velay, the formula of a new elixir he called “Verveine du Velay”.

Le Puy-en-Velay is a sumptuous town located in Auvergne, a volcanic area of the French Central Massif.

The formula contains (more than thirty) a lot of other  botanicals. The most characteristic is the Verveine (lemon verbena) locally grown in the Velay area. Since 1839 the recipe is transmitted from a master distiller to an other, under the seal of secrecy.

The lemon verbena

Historically Pagès Distillery grow the lemon verbena he then used for his liqueurs.
The “verveine” is planted each year in May.
A part is grown under the guidance of the master distiller himself, another part by the Sisters of Camel of Vals.
At the end of the summer the “verveine” is about 1 m high.
Late September before the first frost it is harvested, cut and dried stem away from the light to be thinned by hand.

Formula and other plants

Verveine du Velay  is still a secret recipe. The master distiller, according to the original formula, performs a precise weighing of botanicals, herbs and spices that are used for the maceration and distillation.

Maceration and Distillation

A part of these botanicals are placed in vats with water and neutral alcohol where they will stay macerating.
After some weeks this maceration is filtered. It has a deep green colour, an intense flavour and a rich herbal bouquet.
The other part of the plants are placed in copper stills with brandy, water and neutral alcohol. The specific Pagès “bain-marie” stills are gently heated by the master distiller.
They capture the best perfumes of the botanicals and produce very fine and rich distillates.

Blending

The master distiller then proceeds to the blending of ingredients. According to each of the recipes he carefully mix the distillates, the botanicals maceration, some honey of Auvergne, sugar, cognac, etc.
This alchemy gives birth to the different Verveine du Velay: the  Green, 55% alc. : freshness and green power  - the Yellow, 40% alc. :  fineness and softness - the Extra with Cognac, 40% alc.:  maturity and fullness

Aging and bottling

Each Verveine du Velay is then aged in oak casks for many months. They will slowly acquire their soft, delicate and unique bouquet. (12 months for Yellow and Green Verveine du Velay, 24 months for the Extra). This aging is extended to 5 and 10 years for vintage Verveine du Velay .
The liqueurs are then carried to Pagès-Vedrenne in Nuits-Saint-Georges to be filled in the traditional Pagès bottle before being delivered all around the world.

Enjoying Verveine du Velay

Verveine du Velay is excellent on it’s own, chilled or right out of the freezer, with eventually tonic or fruit juice. It is also delicious for cocktails more attractive than other herbal liqueur.

Verveine du Velay is also commonly used in many recipes for desserts and frozen desserts.

 

 

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