75cl / 16% ABV
Orphan when he was 12 years old, Hyppolite Bonal was born in 1826. He was monk Frère Raphaël in Grand Chartreuse Monastery. He learned medicine and pharmacy in Paris and Lyon. After a stay of 8 years in the abbey where he was the doctor, he left and lived in the very close village named Saint Laurent du Pont as a Pharmacist. Whilst taking long, meditative walks in the Chartreuse Mountains, he collected numerous plants, to study their taste and their digestive and medicinal qualities. He invented Bonal in 1865.
On the death of the creator in 1909, the family continues the adventure. The years in between the two World Wars is the culmination of Bonal. In 1930 the production is of 7000 litres per day, over a million litres on stock. The red and white trucks abound in the city and deliver in France and abroad. Huge caves are built at the entrance to the city. The Bonal building is the lighthouse of Saint Laurent, inseparable from its economic life. In 1945 Bonal employs up to 150 people and 75 vehicles are on the road. But with the 50’s tastes change, sales are collapsing, Bonal disappears.
1976 Bonal’s secret is acquired by Dolin, manufacturer of Dolin Vermouth and Chambérysette, who re-launches Bonal in 1981. Bonal is back on the counters.
This delicious aperitif wine has stood apart for its exceptional complexity, delightful flavours and stimulating palate. Serious to its role as aperitif, it was known as “ouvre l’appétit” – the key to the appetite. It is made by an infusion on gentian, cinchona (quinine) and renowned herbs of the Grand Chartreuse Mountains in a mistelle (fortified wine) base. Traditionally enjoyed neat or with a twist, also may enhance classic drinks in place of sweet red vermouth.
Bonal has a reddish brown colour and an upfront smell of prunes or raisins. Upon sipping the first notes are flavours of raisins/grapes. The mid-palette contains the bitter elements from the gentian root and cinchona. It finishes sweet with grapes and hints of cherry and liquorice.
Bonal is going very well with brown spirits, especially brandy and cognacs to make a perfect stirred cocktail to start your night off proper.