The fashionable backbar isn’t any stranger to gentian. The alpine flowering plant—particularly, its tuberous root—finds its manner into all the pieces from vermouth to amaro to aperitivo liqueurs, the place it provides its signature bitterness to every ingredient. However no product showcases gentian extra prominently than, nicely, gentian liqueurs.
Initially created within the French Alps, gentian liqueurs first appeared in writing within the late 18th century, however the manufacturers that stay staples of the class at present—Avèze, Salers Aperitif and Suze—have been launched within the late 1800s and early 1900s. Although they started as medicinal tonics, gentian liqueurs have been popularized as an aperitif served on the rocks, typically with a squeeze of lemon juice. At this time, nonetheless, they’re extra generally used so as to add natural complexity to an array of cocktails, from fashionable classics just like the White Negroni to new riffs on acquainted templates, such because the Bijou Blanc, a fairer tackle the Bijou.
Given latest limitations of the provision chain, these bottles—notably Suze—have turn into more and more tough to supply. However in case you’re fortunate sufficient to seek out one, right here’s methods to benefit from it.