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A stylishly modern armagnac, created for cocktail lovers
Two friends with a shared passion
Gabriel and Simon met at school. While studying together in Montréal, the two French boys became close friends. After graduating, they both went their separate ways – Simon, to the hospitality industry, where he worked in hotels across France, Monaco, and Belgium, before becoming a consultant for a major hospitality company in Paris; Gabriel, to the spirits industry, working for Pernod-Ricard for a while before moving to New York to work for a spirits importer. While he was in New York, an old family friend contacted him. This friend was an armagnac producer, and wanted to know if Gabriel could help him import armagnac into the United States. Gabriel researched the subject and discovered a fascinating gap in the market.
While back in France, cognacs and armagnacs had a classic, slightly stuffy, reputation, in the US they were seen very differently. Rappers poured out glasses of Courvoisier in hip nightclubs, and cognac was starting to become a staple ingredient for many top American mixologists. Armagnacs, however, weren’t quite as well-known, and Gabriel thought this should be remedied. While catching up with his old friend Simon, he mentioned his idea, and Simon was immediately on board.
Simon grew up in the heart of the Gers region, where armagnac is produced. Growing up, he was accustomed to seeing bottles of armagnac being brought out for every special occasion, and knew the ins and outs of armagnac production by heart. Together with Gabriel, he came up with a plan: to create an armagnac which was both artisanal and sleekly modern, which would highlight traditional French small-batch production without looking elitist or overly rustic, and which would lend itself perfectly to cocktail menus.
Concocting the perfect armagnac
ODVI’s fresh and fruit-forward character makes it ideal not just for sipping, but as a cocktail ingredient – Gabriel and Simon’s master plan had worked out perfectly. As they began sharing their product with bartenders, it became clear that the enthusiasm was contagious. With this smooth, classy update on an old classic, they have brought armagnac into the modern era whilst retaining a deep respect for the culture and traditions of the spirit. As more and more people turn their attention to craft spirits and cocktail-making, armagnac is a rediscovered gem – and ODVI is a crown jewel in that collection.