La Thériaque was a medicine — a panacea — from the South of France. We chose this name both as a nod to the region’s history of distilling and for the cheeky nature of calling spirits a “cure for all”.
The first recorded mention of La Thériaque was around the 2nd century in Greece. While at this time the recipe included snake venom, the ingredients evolved over time and in the 17th century Montpellier’s version was considered one of the best, renowned around Europe and the Mediterranean.
Perhaps surprisingly, its popularity lasted for a rather long time, all the way until the beginning of the 20th Century when the government began to regulate medicine and outlawed the local remedy.
The ancient tradition of distillation for medical purposes remained the norm in the South of France well into the early 19th century, when we first start to see distillation for recreational use. In 1805, the South of France, home to over 1000 distilleries, produced more than two-fifths of all French spirits.