Liquor Cabinet

Issue No. 120 —


Suze Gentiane Liqueur is a bitter aperitif that’s been produced in France since 1889. Although, I did hear this latest recipe has been toned down a bit for the modern consumer. It’s creator, Fernand Moureaux, centered this liqueur around the flavor from yellow gentian root. The wild gentian is harvested from the mountains of the Jura and Auvergne regians. Gentian root is the main ingredient in bitters and is the main culprit for the bitter properties. Other notable flavors are vanilla and candied orange.

It was Fernand that gave birth to this wonderful liqueur, but in 1912 it was the one and only Pablo Picasso that shot its praise around the world with his piece “Verre et bouteille de Suze.” How about that for a promotion! And it was Henri Porte, in 1896, that designed the iconically slender bottle for Suze.

Suze used to be one of those liqueurs you had to bring back with you from your trip abroad or have your friend ship you a bottle or two. However, as of 2012, Domain Select is now importing Suze (now a Pernod brand) to the United States.

Suze is bright yellow in color so that could be beneficial to your cocktails color palette. It’s very similar to Campari in its bitterness. Hence, the White Negroni. Below are a few cocktail recipes featuring Suze.

Around $30 a bottle.

White Negroni

  • 1 1/2 oz gin
  • 3/4 oz Dolin Bianco Vermouth
  • 3/4 oz Suze
  • Garnish with a lemon twist

In a mixing glass combine the gin, Suze and Dolin Bianco Vermouth. Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Recipe by Dutch Kills, NYC


  • 1/4 oz absinthe
  • 2 1/2 oz XO cognac
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • 1/2 oz Suze
  • Garnish with a lemon twist

Pour the absinthe into a chilled Champagne flute, tilting and rotating the glass to coat the interior. Add a few ice cubes and set aside. Add the remaining ingredients to a mixing glass and fill with fresh ice. Stir. Discard the ice and any excess absinthe from the prepared flute and strain the drink into it. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Recipe by Gary Regan

Trident with Suze

  • 1 oz aquavit
  • 1 oz Suze
  • 1 oz east india sherry
  • 2 dashes of peach bitters
  • Garnish with a lemon twist

Add all ingredients into a mixing glass except the garnish. Stir with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

I took Robert Hess’s Trident cocktail and switched out the Cynar for Suze. I also used a sweeter sherry because I found the Suze increased the dryness of the cocktail and it needed a sweeter component to balance it out.


3 Notes on Suze

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