Enrico Bernard is the fourth generation of distillers at Bernard, a company started by his great-grandfather in 1902. Back then the facility specialized in Gazzosa, a lemon soda which they still produce today, but today they're moving into liqueurs and specialty spirits. The secret ingredient in both their soda and spirits is the area's mountain spring water, which is sourced at a high elevation near the town of Pomaretto, in the Germanasca Valley; based in the Piedmontese Alps, southwest of Torino near the border with France. After hiking at an elevation between 5000-8,500 feet in the early morning to harvest flowers and herbs at their peak fragrance, Bernard then spreads out the botanicals on mats to be dried in the mountain air. Heat is ever used during the process; even the maceration is done in cold water and alcohol. Bernard uses only Italian-made neutral grain spirit produced in Saluzzo, infusing each herb separately in small glass containers for up to twelve months. The Barathier is a blend of seven botanicals, most notably wild Juniper Berries, Angelica, Milfoil (sunflower family), and Gentian, both root and flower. The flavor is soft, slightly bitter and spicy. It's typically served after dinner to aid digestion or with soda as a refreshing spritz.
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