France’s sweet cordial success

Sirop being bottled at the Drôme factory of Eyguebelle, where ancient recipes are combined with modern production practices

French kids and adults alike love a drop of squash... The Connexion talks to a sirop maker on the drink’s boom   

Cordials and squashes, called sirops, have always been popular in France, and part of most children’s daily afternoon snack, le goûter, traditionally preferred over fizzy drinks.

Sales are on the increase, and are attracting new markets with high-end, low-sugar, organic and additive-free options, aimed not only at the young, but also at adults as an alternative non-alcoholic drink and even as an ingredient in the kitchen.

Eyguebelle based at Valaurie, Drôme, produces 50 different flavours of cordial and prides itself on craftsmanship, authenticity and natural flavours.

The company bought the ancient recipes from the Cistercian monastery of Aiguebelle, in 1996, and moved from the Abbey to a new site seven kilometres away in 2006.

The monks also produced reputed alcoholic liqueurs, made from plants for their healing properties, which made up 80% of their sales.

But times have changed, and now 80% of the 5.5 million bottles they sell every year are cordials.

The company uses the monks’ traditional recipes but have an R&D ...

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