Suze is a brand of aperitif [ingredient=amaro amaro] invented in 1885 by Fernand Moreaux, a distillery owner, but not put on the market until 1889. Owned since 1965 by the Pernod company, Suze is based on wild gentian roots, one of the "Big 4" bittering agents.
Suze is almost impossible to find in the United States, and the Pernod company has no plans to import it.
Suze is a pale greenish-yellow color and clear. It smells strongly of gentian: earthy, rootlike, and strongly bitter, but this bitterness is softened by sugar, citrus and vanilla flavors. It is 30 proof.
Some popular cocktails containing Suze
- Suze in Paradise — Suze, Tonic water, PInk grapefruit juice, Creme de Framboise
- Suze and Treuse — Suze, Herbal liqueur, Seltzer water, Tonic water syrup, Lemon peel
- Constructive Summer — Hefeweizen, Suze, Reposado Tequila, Lemon juice, Simple syrup
- Medicinal Sour — Herbal liqueur, Suze, Absinthe, Lime juice, Lemon juice, Anise syrup
- High Chicago — Apricot eau-de-vie, Mastika, Pineau des Charentes, Curaçao, Suze, Kummel, Orange peel
- European tryad — Whiskey, Strega, Suze, Amaro, Orange cream citrate
- Sunbeams Through The Forest Trees — Zirbenz Stone Pine Liqueur, Gin, Suze, Aromatized wine, Grapefruit peel
- Alchemist (Sam Fraser) — Mezcal, Maraschino Liqueur, Suze, Lime juice, Orgeat
- Zuzu's Petals — Bison grass vodka, Suze, Elderflower liqueur, Maraschino Liqueur, Bitters, Lime juice, Simple syrup
- Marin Karin — Blanco tequila, Herbal liqueur, Suze, Dry vermouth, Grapefruit bitters, Lemon juice, Agave syrup
Huzzah! Suze is finally available Stateside!... I just picked up a bottle at my local liquor mega-store. 1 liter set me back just under $30.
Apparently, this is not the standard Suze, either. What I found is "Suze Saveur d'autrefois" (or "old flavor"). It's 20% ABV, and the label says it "takes its inspiration from the original recipe for Suze".
Tried a little bit straight... Funky-earthy-vegetal on the nose, powerful but delightful bitterness on the sip coupled with, to me, distinct honey and saffron notes (along with the aforementioned funkiness). I can't wait to mix with it!