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foodhunter

Gentiane Apertifs (Suze, et al)

70 posts in this topic

To bump an old thread:

While in New Orleans this last weekend at Tales of the Cocktail, we stopped by Dorignac's Grocery and to our surprise, several bottles of Suze sat on the top shelf. We bought three, but there were definitely more there.

Just FYI, if anyone is interested.

-Morgan

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I picked up a bottle of Suze the other day, and mixed up a White Negroni tonight. Fabulous drink. I thought the proportions sounded kind of odd on paper, but the balance in the glass is spot-on.

That said, I'm going to run out of Lillet before I run out of Suze. Any other drinks people know of that use this bitter? For that matter, is there anything I need to know about storing it, or can it just sit in the liquor cabinet alongside everything else?


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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Just found a bottle of Suze in Tokyo; it'll be heading back with me to the states next week. Any more cocktail ideas? Specifically, does anyone have that Petit Mort recipe? Tx in advance.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Suze sounds remarkably similar to the Gentiane des Pères Chartreux that I picked up at the Chartreuse distillery in Voiron last month. And, here I thought that White Negroni I'd made with it was somewhat original...

So far, my favorite way to enjoy it is on the rocks. Unfortunately in the wealth of new products I've had to play with lately, this one has been neglected. I'll have to experiment more soon and post the results here.


True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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Chris, I was just at the Pegu club last month and asked for the Petit Mort recipe. The bartender wouldn't give me the proportions, but he did give me the ingredients. The big secret is this: Cointreau is the base spirit. I had tried all kinds of combinations, but had never hit upon that. Outside of Cointreau, it's just Suze, lemon juice, simple syrup and Champagne.

When we got home I made up some like this

1 oz Cointreau

1/2 oz Suze

1/4 oz simple syrup

1/2 oz lemon juice

3 oz Champagne

and they were mighty tasty.

Edit: To be honest, I didn't really measure the Champagne. Could have been more like 2 oz.


Edited by David Santucci (log)

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Determined to play with the Gentian liqueur tonight. Thought process started with 'swap Gentiane for Campari in a Paper Plane'. This is where it ended:

1 1/2 oz W.L. Weller Special Reserve

3/4 oz Gentiane des Pères Chartreux (from all accounts, very similar to Suze)

3/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse

3/4 oz Lemon Juice

1/2 oz Bittercube Orange Liqueur (Cointreau is close, but add a dash of Regan's Orange Bitters)

Shaken, strained and topped with a few drops of Lemon Bitters (Bittercube's 2010 Limited Release Lemon Tree Bitters, to be precise).

The pre-shake volume is high, because I originally planned to only use 1 oz of Weller and none of the Orange liqueur. At first taste, the bourbon was completely lost and needed to be upped, and it needed something else...the Orange was my best guess.

Flavor is pleasantly sweet upfront, with a forcefully bitter finish that demands another sip. This is at the heart of what I love about the Paper Plane, so in that I guess it was a success. However, I think the proportions are off, and I don't think the Yellow Chartreuse is contributing at all.

Well, a switch to Rye might help the whiskey express itself, and Green Chartreuse is never lost in the background...here's what came next:

1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse 100 Rye

3/4 oz Gentiane des Pères Chartreux

1/2 oz Green Chartreuse

1/4 oz Cassis des Pères Chartreux

1 dash Fee's Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters

Stirred and strained.

The idea of combining the Gentiane with Cassis came from the Chartreuse website, and it's pretty spectacular. To paraphrase Jeffrey Steingarten, this is a drink I would pay for in a bar. Without the citrus, there is perhaps less depth, but the Cassis adds rounded fruitiness and the switch to Rye/Green Chartreuse lends piquancy that were previously contributed by the orange liqueur and lemon juice. The bitterness of gentian, always present in the background, is most obvious in the long lingering finish.


Edited by KD1191 (log)

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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This was pretty tasty:

1/2 oz Suze

1/2 oz lemon

1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino

1/2 t Kubler absinthe

1 1/2 oz Junipero gin

Shake, strain, no garnish.

Man, that Suze has a long, bitter tail.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Back at it with the Suze. Trying to figure out something that takes advantage of the Carpano Antica Formula I've got. Starting thinking about Chuck Taggart's Hoskins Cocktail, a personal favorite, and modified it a bit to account for the Suze. I had lemon on hand instead of orange, which works just fine. Indeed, I think that this is a great drink, from the ginny front end, through the rich, sweet middle, and into the long, bitter end:

2 oz Plymouth gin

3/4 oz Carpano Antica Formula

1/2 oz Suze

1/2 oz Luxardo maraschino

dash Angostura

Stir; strain; lemon peel over the top; discard.

ETA: As it warms, it becomes almost chocolaty. This is a keeper.


Edited by Chris Amirault (log)

Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Proportions are 1.5 gin (plymouth works well)

1 lillet

.75 suze

Has anyone had much luck making a White Negorni? After hearing about this, I made one like a Negroni with equal parts gin, Lillet (I subbed in Cocchi Americano) and Suze. Not bad, but the Suze is too dominant.

I tried the recipe above, and it's really out of whack to my taste. The botanicals in the gin (I tried with both Tanquery and Plymouth) are far too dominant. Another element (perhaps the Suze) seems to be making the gin botanticals stronger than they would be on their own.


Edited by TAPrice (log)

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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I've used the 1.5:1:0.75 ratio in the past and enjoyed it. I'm surprised you found the gin botanicals overpowering even when using Plymouth. I typically use either that or another soft 80-proof gin (Bombay Sapphire, Broker's, etc.), and find it quite balanced. I could see it being a little out of whack with full-strength Tanq, though. (But I can't get that here, so it's not an issue for me until I go through duty free somewhere.)


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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[...]

Has anyone had much luck making a White Negorni? After hearing about this, I made one like a Negroni with equal parts gin, Lillet (I subbed in Cocchi Americano) and Suze. Not bad, but the Suze is too dominant.

I tried the recipe above, and it's really out of whack to my taste. The botanicals in the gin (I tried with both Tanquery and Plymouth) are far too dominant. Another element (perhaps the Suze) seems to be making the gin botanticals stronger than they would be on their own.

In my opinion, this is a cocktail you have to use Lillet Blanc for, not Cocchi Americano.

It is a modern cocktail and it was created with the modern version of Lillet Blanc.

Though, to be honest, not all classic cocktails are improved by using Cocchi Americano, either.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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[...]

Has anyone had much luck making a White Negorni? After hearing about this, I made one like a Negroni with equal parts gin, Lillet (I subbed in Cocchi Americano) and Suze. Not bad, but the Suze is too dominant.

I tried the recipe above, and it's really out of whack to my taste. The botanicals in the gin (I tried with both Tanquery and Plymouth) are far too dominant. Another element (perhaps the Suze) seems to be making the gin botanticals stronger than they would be on their own.

In my opinion, this is a cocktail you have to use Lillet Blanc for, not Cocchi Americano.

It is a modern cocktail and it was created with the modern version of Lillet Blanc.

Though, to be honest, not all classic cocktails are improved by using Cocchi Americano, either.

Agree that Cocchi Americano doesn't seem like the right choice. I've had success with Cinzano Bianco, though I was using the Carthusian Gentiane, not Suze.

1 1/2 oz Tanqueray

1 oz Cinzano Bianco

1 oz Gentiane


True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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Hm, that sort of made it sound like I was objecting to Cocchi Americano in this drink out of some sort of principle.

No, that's not why, though it is true the drink was created with Lillet Blanc.

It just isn't the principle, I've tried it both ways, and the drink really isn't very good with Cocchi Americano.

I would like to try it, though, with some other Gentian aperitifs than Suze.

Along those lines, Tempus Fugit Spirits are working on a bitter aperitif wine that was pretty fantastic in combination with their Gran Classico and Gin. I thought that white negroni variation kind of blew the Suze based "White Negroni" out of the water.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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yeah i would have thought using the cocchi americano would result in having 2 bitter ingredients in the cocktail, so that it wasnt as balanced.

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I know Suze is getting a bit tricky to get hold of the UK these days, although I can't say I'm a fan.

I had a sort of pre-distillate mash of genitian root and it tasted just like Suze, I then had the distilled version of that mash and it was so much smooth and rather a pleasant liquid to sip. I was genuinely surprised.


Vintage Cocktails, Barware, Spirits & Gin: www.summerfruitcup.com

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Test driving this White Negroni variation for a cocktail party that I am hosting tomorrow. Usually Junipero is my gin of choice, but I decided to use the Beefeater that I just bought yesterday.

White Negroni (Dutch Kills version)

1.5 oz gin

3/4 oz Suze

3/4 oz Dolin blanc vermouth

Lemon twist

6840118932_b1d44162d3_z.jpg

Wow, this is good, and I love the Beefeater in this drink. Until now I thought that the White Negroni with Cocchi was my favorite but now I am really confused...

More experimentation is in order.

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Fiddling more with the Suze. I'm convinced that Ransom Old Tom Gin and Suze could have a liaison, perhaps illicit, if only I could play matchamaker. Meanwhile...

While watching Lio Messi & Barcelona dismantle Zaragoza, I was snacking on some pecans and hazelnuts and decided to have a nightcap along with. Got to mixing and came up with this. Like most Suze drinks, it ain't for everyone, but if you like that long, long tail and have these ingredients on hand you might like this. The key is the Fundador, which is a nutty, rich foil for the Suze:

2 oz Fundador brandy

1 oz Suze

1/2 oz Benedictine

dash Fee's 2009 WBA bitters

Build over one big rock in a small OF glass. No garnish.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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We still cannot get Suze in Massachusetts (other than smuggled bottles). Luckily, we have two other choices -- both equally as classic, French, and made from wild yellow gentian.

Salers - Haus Alpenz noticed the need and brought this in to the country. It is cheaper, more flavorful, and less flat tasting than Suze.

Avèze - not sure who imports this and I have not seen it on a shelf yet, but two bars in town have it in stock (which means we should see it in stores in a month or two). I have had it in cocktails but have not tasted it neat to get an idea of how it compares to Suze or Salers.

Apparently, Suze has a massive market share in France with Avèze being almost a 1/10th of that and Salers being 1/25th of Suze (based on decade old statistics, but the liqueurs have been around for probably a century plus).

Best drink I've had in Boston with any of these was made by WIll Thompson of Drink in a 20th Century sort of style:

Copper Canyon

1 1/2 oz El Tesoro Reposado Tequila

1/2 oz Marie Brizard Crème de Cacao

1/2 oz Salers Gentiane Liqueur

1/2 oz Lemon Juice

1 barspoon Long Pepper Tincture (*)

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass containing a big ice cube. Garnish the ice cube with a pinch of salt.

(*) Will said that any hot tincture or perhaps a dash of hot sauce or Bittermens Hellfire Shrub would work well here.

More about this drink: http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com/2012/07/copper-canyon.html


Edited by Frederic (log)

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Saw Avèze, Saler's and Suze on the shelf at Pearl Specialty here in Portland OR yesterday. I figure if it's available here with our state controlled liquor sluggish distribution, it should be available everywhere.

It does appear that our state liquor folks got a scare from the Washington State privatization - they seem to have become much more accommodating of special requests and bringing in new products for the stores and bars.

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Martin Doudoroff and I did a comparative tasting of the new Suze, Salers Aperitif and Avèze. They are all delicious in their own way, although quite different from one another. Salers has the most straightforward flavor -- consisting of not much more than alcohol, gentian and sugar -- and also the strongest gentian flavor. Avèze, to my palate, has some slight honey notes and is the sweetest with the thickest mouthfeel. It had the least prominent gentian flavor. Suze was somewhere in the middle, having some orange notes lacking in the other two and being generally more complex than Salers.

We tried them alone and also in cocktails. Our initial impressions were that we would chose Suze if we were going to sip it neat, on the rocks or with seltzer, but that Salers makes significantly better cocktails.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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Martin Doudoroff and I did a comparative tasting of the new Suze, Salers Aperitif and Avèze. They are all delicious in their own way, although quite different from one another. Salers has the most straightforward flavor -- consisting of not much more than alcohol, gentian and sugar -- and also the strongest gentian flavor. Avèze, to my palate, has some slight honey notes and is the sweetest with the thickest mouthfeel. It had the least prominent gentian flavor. Suze was somewhere in the middle, having some orange notes lacking in the other two and being generally more complex than Salers.

We tried them alone and also in cocktails. Our initial impressions were that we would chose Suze if we were going to sip it neat, on the rocks or with seltzer, but that Salers makes significantly better cocktails.

Sam - Do you think that the new Suze formula (saveur d'autrefois) is inferior to the old one? And which cocktails did you use for your side-by-side comparison?

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No, I don't think it's inferior. If anything, I think it represented an attempt to improve the product by reverting it.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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