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San Sebastián with Marie Brizard

Our head bartender Aimee was chosen to be taken away to San Sebastián on a brand trip at the start of this year after winning the unsung hero at the Glasgow bartender awards and we wanted to share with you her unreal experience last week!

“The process of finding out about being whisked away on an all expenses paid trip to San Sebastián courtesy of Marie Brizard came as nothing short of an extremely pleasant surprise (and almost seemed a little bit too good to be true) especially after already receiving a win at the bartenders ball earlier this year as well as Siobhan and I being sent to Sicily next month!! Safe to say this has already been a great year for me and for la jupe. 

After corresponding over email with the lovely Emma who was in charge of organising the whole trip, myself and three other bartenders from Glasgow and Edinburgh as well as our wonderful reps, Ruridh and David, were set to fly out on Tuesday afternoon. The group consisted of myself, Kim from the amazing Daddy Marmalade’s in trongate, Scott from the balmoral in Edinburgh and Ben from Uno mas also in Edinburgh. Three bartenders who are killing the game at the moment so if you’re ever round their neck of the woods their bars are a must. 

On day one we were booked in for some late night pintxos and delicious local wine at gambara - a restaurant that features on the list for top 50 in the world and acclaimed by mr Anthony Bourdain himself 😍. 

Next day we were up bright and early to visit the Marie brizard distillery. Greeted by Alexandra, Cristina and the rest of their team with the warmest of welcomes before being shown around by lovely employees each specialising in various areas of the factory. Getting a behind the scenes look at how these products are distilled, produced and packaged up is fascinating stuff and we were all very lucky to have been invited in to witness it (despite the slightly comical costume change into very necessary but somewhat “humbling” safety gear👩🏻‍🔬)

After our tour we had a short presentation about Marie Brizard - an incredible woman who was a trailblazer for women at a time when they weren’t even allowed to sign documents. She had her nephew Roger co sign for her to get around this, but she was the one experimenting with different herbs, spices and citrus blends to create her liqueurs; in fact she was the first French liqueur maker to create the signature triple sec orange liqueur, not cointreau or grand marnier as most people often assume. 

After sampling some of their best liqueurs and syrups and enjoying a drink at their conference room bar (other companies- take note!) we were gifted some branded gear including a Marie brizard lemon juicer which we were all far too excited about (THIS is the way to a bartenders heart). 

Next on the itinerary was to enjoy a stunning lunch at zazpi where I spotted a familiar friend - Mars de Fraides Albariño which we stock at the bar, I couldn’t believe it! Alas it was gone in seconds with everyone at the table agreeing it is an extremely delicious wine so if you don’t believe us take it from them and come in and grab a glass .. or two or three 🤤 “

In the afternoon the guys were taken to a private cooking school at mimo experience where they learned to cook a traditional paella with the chefs and enjoyed some more wine!

”Our last day (after a late night drinking far too many kalimotxos) consisted of a funicular train ride up Monte Igeldo for some stunning views of the coast, a perfect way to say goodbye to the beautiful San Sebastián. 

All in all Marie brizard’s story and the team  upholding her legacy today are incredible. Everyone involved that we met throughout this trip was generous, spirited, honest and held a passion and pride about what they do which is to be admired. I must say a huge thank you from myself and on behalf of the rest of our wee group who were fortunate enough to take part in this incredible experience, so to Marie Brizard: 

du fond du cœur, merci et j'espère vous revoir bientôt! xo”

We cannot wait to see where Aimee’s graft and passion takes her next, don’t worry it won’t be for long we need her at the bar creating the goods!

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