Step into History...
When the Lemercier distillery was born during the Napoleonic Empire, at the foot of the Vosges, the region was entering its golden period, particularly because of its special attraction, the Thermal Baths at Plombières-les-Bains. During the 1st Empire, it was not unusual to see the Bonapartes in the most renowned spa towns in France, Germany and Italy... But Plombières was one of the most loved by the family!
In 1809, Empress Josephine and her daughter Hortense met up for the first time in Plombières, with Hortense’s children and heirs to the throne, including Charles-Louis Napoleon, future Napoleon III. The whole town of Plombière hailed the arrival of this imperial line, which attracted much curiosity, and bestowed a certain reputation on the Plombière baths.
It was only 47 years later, in 1856, that Napoleon III decided to return to this spa in the Vosges, both to repeat a family tradition but also to soothe his rheumatism. His number of stays grew, and the renovation works began, both on the Thermal Baths and the town, including its gardens, its hotels... the region was already known for the richness of its earth and the know-how of its distillers, but the presence of the Emperor only made Vosges’ reputation grow as it was taken by storm by one of the world’s great men. It was under the reign of Napoleon III that Absinthe had its golden age. Still relatively expensive at the time, it was above all the bourgeoisie’s drink of choice. Later it became more popular, representing 90% of aperitifs consumed!
Not far from there, just a few kilometers from Plombières, is Fougerolles, the birthplace of Distillerie Lemercier Frères!
In the 19th century, while Absinthe made many distilleries rich, including Lemercier, it was accused of causing all of society’s ills and was the subject of lively debates, until it was finally banned in 1915 under the pressure of the powerful wine growers’ lobby, and in the name of the fight against alcoholism.
Numerous substitutes tried to take the place of Absinthe and it was finally a simple modification to the recipe that allowed Pastis to be born in 1923...and this is how Distillerie Lemercier’s Pastis was marketed!
The year 1811 was the starting point for Distillerie Lemercier, but it is also the symbol of a family business that has made it through all the various empires, monarchies, republics and other wars. The Pastis 1811 is the footprint of all of this French history, and its handwritten recipe is simply the perfect illustration of its authenticity. A unique Pastis, both for its fine, delicate taste and its history across the centuries.