Founded in Basque in 1906, Izarra's official name was originally “Fine-Hendaye”, because at the time all Basques ordered fine-hendaye, a liqueur made with plants in bouilleurs de cru in the Hendaye region, cut with water. Joseph Grattau had decided to take this generic name and make a brand name out of it. The following year, he had to rename his Fine-Hendaye. The name Izarra was chosen, which was a simple tagline.
At the end of a legendary match of Basque pelota, the champion Chiquito de Cambo gave the King of England, His Majesty Edward VII, his chistera along with a bottle of Izarra. From that day on, Izarra was used as a symbolic gift from the Basque Country to all the celebrities who came to visit, from Ernest Hemingway to Nikita Khrushchev.
Built in 1912 and early 1913, the distillery on Quai Bergeret in Bayonne welcomed nearly one million visitors over the century and saw four generations of Bayonnais succeeded each other at the commands for the elaboration of Izarra. Izarra’s success required the transfer of distillation operations from Hendaye to Bayonne to get closer to the commercial port. Izarra liqueurs were marketed abroad starting in 1910 and its distribution reached over seventy countries during the thirty boom years after World War II. Today, Izarra is going international again.
The distillery was unfortunately sold for financial reasons in 1998 and production was moved to temporarily to Angers.Read More