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foodhunter

Gentiane Apertifs (Suze, et al)

70 posts in this topic

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.

Psst... not to self promote or anything, but don't forget about the Amère Sauvage. We may make it here in New York, but the wild, organic gentian we use comes right from Eastern France as well!


Avery Glasser

Bittermens, Inc. - Producers of Bittermens Bitters & Extracts

Bittermens Spirits, Inc. - Purveyors of Small Batch Bitter Liqueurs

Vendetta Spirits, LLC. - Nano-Importer of Hand-Produced Spirits

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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.

Psst... not to self promote or anything, but don't forget about the Amère Sauvage. We may make it here in New York, but the wild, organic gentian we use comes right from Eastern France as well!

To add one more data point, I'm also quite fond of the Gentiane des Pères Chartreux. I can't compare it to any of the recently available products, but we did do a taste test a few years back and I found the finish to be noticeably more bitter (and considerably longer) than the Suze of the time. Will report back once I open my bottle of new-make Suze.


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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Has anyone tried the Henri Bardouin Gentiane de Lure? The Quebec liquor board used to carry it, but it looks like their supplies are dwindling.


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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The Gentiane des Pères Chartreux is a great gentian liqueur - I think they probably use 40-50% more gentian in their maceration in comparison to products like Aveze and Salers, which feel very light and refreshing. It's got a great backbone and really stands up in a cocktail.

The HB Gentiane de Lure is fantastic and one of the products I wish we could regularly get in the states. However, it's not a liqueur - it's a aromatized/fortified wine. So, it's more of an analogue to products like Cocchi Americano than a true liqueur like the Gentiane des Pères Chartreux.


Avery Glasser

Bittermens, Inc. - Producers of Bittermens Bitters & Extracts

Bittermens Spirits, Inc. - Purveyors of Small Batch Bitter Liqueurs

Vendetta Spirits, LLC. - Nano-Importer of Hand-Produced Spirits

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Tried three white negroni variations last night using the PDT ratio as a starting point.

2 oz Plymouth Gin

3/4 oz Lillet Blanc

1/2 oz Suze

2 oz Plymouth Gin

3/4 oz Dolin Blanc

1/2 oz Salers

2 oz Plymouth Gin

3/4 oz Tempus Fugit Kina l'Avinion d'Or

1/2 oz Tempus Fugit Grand Classico Bitter

I am gradually coming to the conclusion that either my Suze is tired, or I just don't like it. The original was my least favorite of the bunch.

Second was a nice feature for the Saler's and a tasty cocktail.

The Third was the most 'negroni' of the three, adding the herbal accents of the Gran Classico. Guests were about 50-50 between it and a classic negroni.


---

Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Tried three white negroni variations last night using the PDT ratio as a starting point.

2 oz Plymouth Gin

3/4 oz Lillet Blanc

1/2 oz Suze

2 oz Plymouth Gin

3/4 oz Dolin Blanc

1/2 oz Salers

2 oz Plymouth Gin

3/4 oz Tempus Fugit Kina l'Avinion d'Or

1/2 oz Tempus Fugit Grand Classico Bitter

I am gradually coming to the conclusion that either my Suze is tired, or I just don't like it. The original was my least favorite of the bunch.

Second was a nice feature for the Saler's and a tasty cocktail.

The Third was the most 'negroni' of the three, adding the herbal accents of the Gran Classico. Guests were about 50-50 between it and a classic negroni.

Nice experimentation. Out of curiosity, what didn't you like about the Suze version? Also, while I have not had a chance to try the Tempus Fugit products, isn't Grand Classico bitter a Campari substitute (while l'Avion d'Or is based on Kina-Lillet), making the third version closer to a classic Negroni?

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Once again, eGullet introduces me to something new!

My wife and I, both far from being advanced cocktailers, are very partial to a classic Negroni, so I was fascinated by the concept of a white one. We don't seem to be able to get Suze in New Zealand, but Gentiane de Lure is reasonably widely available and I got one on Saturday. Saturday night's drink was two versions of a white Negroni; one with two parts gin/¾ Dolin Blanc/¾ Gentiane de Lure, the other with two parts gin and one part each Lillet and gentian. There wasn't a lot between them, but we decided we liked the Lillet one better - just a little sweeter, perhaps.

Yesterday I did some surfing and came up for a recipe for a Tour Eiffel - rinse a glass with absinthe and ice and discard; mix fresh ice with 2½ parts brandy (the recipe said XO Cognac, but we have a nice Jerez we used) and ½ part each gentian and Cointreau; serve with a slice of lemon zest. One word: it was bloody marvellous!

I haven't spent as much time in this eG topic as I should have, but I'll be very receptive to any more recipe ideas you can come up with. Salut!


Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
Host, eG Forumslcraven@egstaff.org

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives ~ Oscar Wilde

My eG Foodblog

eGullet Ethics Code signatory

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I have decided to use my Suze a bit more instead of hoarding it at the back of a refrigerator shelf. It is delicious stuff, with a bitter and woody taste that is quite addictive. Plus it is French so of course it is perfect in every way.

 

Anyway, I had this very nice aperitif last weekend, the Little Valiant (Will Thompson) with 2 oz Lillet blanc as the base, 1 oz Suze, a touch lemon juice (3/4 tsp - not oz!), orange bitters (Regan's + Fee's, one dash each), pinch of salt.

 

The salt (I used kosher flake salt) is sprinkled on the (single large) ice cube, a la Bitter Giuseppe/Search for Delicious, so the drink changes personality as the ice melts. It goes from light and citrusy to briny, with enough bitterness in the background to keep things interesting.

 

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Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)
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Suze Bramble (Ira Koplowitz and Nicholas Kosevich ) with Suze, blanco tequila (7 Leguas), grapefruit & lemon juice, simple syrup, blackberries (Santa Barbara mulberries).  The color was not as deep as the original drink with blackberries, but I really liked how the mulberries interacted with the tequila. And there was a nice bitter finish from the Suze. Good summer drink.

 

14162754102_52c7620e77_z.jpg
 

 

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I just had to try this Mai Tai-inspired drink with gentian liquor as the base, the Frog Splash, a creation by Morgan Schick of Trick Dog that Fred of cocktail virgin slut unearthed for last month's MxMo nut challenge.

 

Avèze gentian liqueur (Suze), Smith & Cross, orgeat (homemade, walnut), lime juice, mint garnish.

 

14147603410_f474fbe6af_z.jpg
 

Flavor-wise, the Mai Tai reference was obvious, and the Smith and Cross worked surprisingly well with the Suze (I am therefore concluding that S&C is the new bartender's ketchup - improves every drink). The taste verged on being overly vegetal which muddied the overall impression, but was consistent with the name I suppose.

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I got to experiment with my bottle of Salers Gentiane a bit  weekend. First drink I with the Harry Palmer, as it seemed a nice simple way to test it out. I used I used Punt e Mes for the vermouth, and maybe the overpowered this cocktail. It was good, but the subtleties of the Salers disappeared. It did provide a nice extra bitterness, sort of a more ethereal Manhattan.

 

Also had a Salers drink with my new bottle of Cocchi Americano. The Little Valiant was an awesome, low alcohol aperitif. Exactly the sort of thing you would want as an enticing pre-prandial. I might up the lemon juice when I make it again.

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I own a bottle of Suze. I cannot find, locally, other gentian liqueurs--e.g. Aveze. I've only tasted Suze. Is it a workable substitute or totally different? I am looking in the Dead Rabbit book and seeing a lot of recipes that call for Aveze and Bonal in small quantities.


Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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I own a bottle of Suze. I cannot find, locally, other gentian liqueurs--e.g. Aveze. I've only tasted Suze. Is it a workable substitute or totally different? I am looking in the Dead Rabbit book and seeing a lot of recipes that call for Aveze and Bonal in small quantities.

 

Bonal is very different rom Suze. It tastes like a red vermouth bit slightly more bitter; while Suze is infinitely more bitter. I love both but they are completely not interchangeable.


Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)

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If you want another gentian liqueur, you can try Salers which a little bit less sweet than Suze.

As for Bonal, it is a gentian-quina.

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Maybe 3/4 sweet vermouth and 1/4 Suze would be a reasonable substitute for Bonal, especially if we're talking small quantities?

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thay may be a great idea ! However, there is no cinchona in vermouth so maybe a mix of Punt e Mes and Suze? I have absolutely no idea regarding the ratio but your 3/4 : 1/4 seems about right.

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That's a good point, Punt e Mes might be a better choice. I'll try that over the weekend and report back if that's indeed a good substitute for Bonal.

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thay may be a great idea ! However, there is no cinchona in vermouth so maybe a mix of Punt e Mes and Suze? I have absolutely no idea regarding the ratio but your 3/4 : 1/4 seems about right.

 

Some do actually. The chinato style of vermouth being the obvious example (china meaning cinchona in Italian).

 

That's a good point, Punt e Mes might be a better choice. I'll try that over the weekend and report back if that's indeed a good substitute for Bonal.

 

I agree; I would use Punt e Mes or any vermouth that was is on the bitter side - Martini Gran Lusso is another example. They are going to taste richer than Bonal but they all contain cinchona. (Cocchi Barolo di Chinato will be even richer and sweeter - it's very good but not as a Bonal substitute).

 

I think it's worth trying to find Bonal because there is nothing quite like it.


Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)

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I tried this out last night, 3:1 Punt e Mes to Suze is not a horrible substitute for Bonal. It's missing some notes from the Bonal for sure (there's a pleasant bitter sourness in the Bonal this sub doesn't hit), but the overall tone isn't far off. If Bonal is unavailable and you need to use it in small quantities in a cocktail, this combo should do the trick.

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