Suze is a pleasingly bitter French apéritif made from the gentian root, which grows in the mountains of Switzerland and France. "It really captures the essence of the earth. You can sense how the root twisted its tendrils into the rocks like an octopus," says Scott Baird, founder of the cocktail consulting firm Bon Vivants. It manages to be earthy, bitter, and floral all at once.
Sother Teague, bartender at the bitters-focused New York bar Amor y Amargo, would compare it to the less esoteric Lillet. "Suze has a beautiful soft citrus undertone," she says. "Though it's bitter, it also provides some sweetness, and remains very refreshing."
Suze is ideal both for cocktails and for straight sipping as a pre- or post-dinner drink.