Thursday, July 27, 2006

And the answer is....

I received a few guesses about my last intriguing old ad. But I didn't really expect anyone to come up with the right answer: the ad is for the old aperitif St. Raphael -- which I had never even heard of! Apparently it is still around and even becoming increasingly popular in Canada and perhaps elsewhere. Have you ever tasted it?

The site Cigar Aficionado tells us:

One of the oldest names in aperitifs is St. Raphaël, which dates from 1830. It was invented by a French physician named Jupet, who, legend has it, was concocting a quinine-flavored aperitif wine when he suddenly lost his sight. He prayed to the patron saint of the blind, Archangel Raphaël, and his sight was restored. Grateful for the miracle, Jupet named the potion St. Raphaël Quinquina, and it became immensely successful. St. Raphaël is based on mistelle, a mixture of grape brandy and grape juice, which is flavored with quinine, bitter orange peel, vanilla and cocoa. It is sweet in style and is made in gold and red versions.

Much as I hate to promote any form of smoking, this cigar site presented a great article about old French aperitifs.


ratafia said...

St Raphael quinquina!!!!!!! I am hearing the radio advertising of my childhood, when reading you....
Thanks for the suspense: only French people, born around the 50 could know this, in my humble opinion!
thanks anyway et continuez de nous interesser avec votre blog!
Ratafia, plutot que "anonymous", finalement!

Run Around Paris said...

I've never heard of St. Raphael, but a restaurant near me sells King Louis (aged 60 years) by the shot - $120 per shot. And apparently, the bottle it comes in is made of Waterford Crystal and is worth $400 itself. So an entire bottle costs $1500. Just out of curiosity, I'd like to taste like $20 bucks worth, but apparently, $20 bucks will only allow me to smell it. ;)