Gentian Fizz

Gentian is a root unearthed in volcanic soil in France. Its bittersweet flavor is very popular in France, sold as liqueurs and apéritifs; Suze, Salers, and Avèze are the most well-known. If you’re in France, Distillerie de Grandmont makes an excellent artisan gentian liqueur that I like very much, but isn’t widely available. (Google it to track a bottle down from online sellers.) Also in France is Ziane, a non-alcoholic gentian apéritif, and another one made by Couderc distillery, whose website I can’t figure out how to navigate. Both would work if you’d like to make this a mocktail.

While some people find gentian-based spirits rather strong, in this gentle fizz, the bitterness is tempered by the pineapple juice and cold tonic water. All that’s needed to finish it up is a flurry of fresh mint on top, and a straw.

Gentian Fizz
Print Recipe
1 drink
This easy-going recipe uses gentian liqueur, and is a great warm-weather sipper. Gentian is on the bitter side, although the liqueurs and apéritifs made with it balance that flavor with other botanicals and some sweetness. Common French brands include Suze, Salers, and Avèze. If you want to add a complimentary flavor, you can drizzle a little absinthe, pastis or Chartreuse (up to 1 teaspoon) over the top.
1 ounce gentian liqueur or apéritif (see headnote)
1 ounce unsweetened pineapple juice
2 ounces cold tonic water
fresh mint, for garnish
1. Add the gentian liqueur and pineapple juice to a tumbler or Collins glass. Add tonic water.
2. Stir briefly then fill the glass with crushed ice. Garnish with fresh mint.
Gentian Fizz

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  • Bonnie (in Colorado Springs)
    May 2, 2020 7:52pm

    David, Check out this wonderful distillery in the Rocky Mountains called Leopold Bros.
    Their Absinthe is really lovely, as is their Tarte Cherry Liqueur. Reply

  • Bonnie
    May 2, 2020 10:07pm

    How about “baton à remuer” for swizzle stick, David? Reply

    • May 3, 2020 9:38am
      David Lebovitz

      I found out they are called touillettes – ! Reply

  • tlbrooklyn
    May 4, 2020 1:58am

    I made it. It’s good. Reply

  • tlbrooklyn
    May 4, 2020 11:36pm

    Now I’m having another one. Reply

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