In 1885 Émile Giffard, the pharmacist and owner of pharmacy in Angers, created the formula of Menthe-Pastille Liqueur.
Its immediate success encouraged Giffard to sell the pharmacy and start his own distillery. Giffard chose Mitcham type mint, a type of peppermint (the late 17th Century spontaneous hybrid of spearmint and water mint). To extract the best essence from mint plants the extraction has to come as soon as possible. When mint is harvested the mint plants are placed in a big container at the edge of the field and distillation takes place in this very same container, which is hooked up to a steam vapor circuit with the cooler to extract the mint essence in a steam vapor stream. Once distilled this becomes mint essential oil. This first essential oil is then fractioned using fractional distillation to keep only the best quality oils, which are later used as an aromatic ingredient of Giffard mint liqueurs. Over time Menthe-Pastille scored dozens of awards, the latest two at the 2014 and 2016 Liqueur Masters by The Spirit Business Magazine.
Giffard recommends drinking Menthe-Pastille with crushed ice or mixed with sparking water and in cocktails.