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Calvados Boulard goes for the twist with cocktail on trade strategy

Published:  13 April, 2016

Calvados Boulard has unveiled its new plan to put its brand of cider spirit back on bar menus, with its range of classic cocktails-with-a-twist.

To talk through the strategy, managing director Vincent Boulard was at the Churchill Bar and Terrace at the Hyatt Regency London yesterday - one of two bars which have signed up to the new mixology ideology.

The other is the St James Hotel.

The Normandy brand, which began with Vincent's great-great-grandfather Pierre-Auguste Boulard in 1825, is hoping to grow its presence in the on-trade with its Calvados Boulard Apple Twist cocktails - giving an innovative take on three classic drinks: the Mojito, the Manhattan and the Old Fashioned.

"We want to make Calvados Boulard familiar with bartenders again," Boulard said. "The DNA of a good bartender is creativity. To start with, we want to convince 10 to 15 bars in London to try our cocktails and also create their own signature drinks."

Vincent Boulard's father Pierre was responsible for much of the work done to export the Boulard name past French borders.

Vincent Boulard joined the family company in the early 1980s and immediately started to make his own mark on the brand.

Calvados Boulard Auguste Calvados Boulard Auguste

He said: "Every generation does something to improve it from their parents. In the last 20 years we have done a lot to improve the blending and aging process.

"Distillation is the art of catching the aromas. I decided 20 years ago that we needed to differentiate the aromas and to make better calvados. Calvados is to apple as Cognac is to grape."

Created from a variety of 120 apples from the heart of the Pays d'Auge region, all Calvados Boulard is double distilled.

"Calvados is 100% natural, no yeast, which is very rare in spirits," Boulard said. "It's a product that's very close to nature."

The three cocktails on the newly devised menu are the Old Fashioned by Boulard, made with sugar cane syrup, Angostura Bitters, orange and cherries with Calvados Boulard XO over ice.

The classic Manhattan is made with Calvados Boulard VSOP and red vermouth with Angostura Bitters and orange zest.

Finally, the refreshing Mojito is drawn with Calvados Boulard Grand Solage, sugar cane syrup, lime, mint and Ginger Ale Soda.

There is even talk of a Calvados Boulard mixology competition next year, but that will depend on how the next few months go.

"The UK is not a big market for Calvados at the moment," Boulard said. "We have to do more. The future will depend on our mixability."