In 1885, Fernand Moureaux inherited a family distillery in Maisons- Alfort. In order to rescue the company from the brink of bankruptcy, he joined forces with Henri Porte, his bank manager's son, to create a new aperitif. The two men believed in the future of chilled aperitifs and the power of a brand, so together they strove to create a new sort of aperitif, going against the grain of what was fashionable at the time: instead of basing their aperitif on wine, they used a plant — gentian!
The famous aperitif is now produced in our factory in Thuir, in the Pyrénées Orientales department of France. It is an outstanding architectural structure and used to be a marshalling yard for the Byrrh cellars, whose designer was none other than Gustave Eiffel! The ceiling, which is a composition made of corrugated iron and nuts and bolts, leaves no doubt about the identity of its creator; it echoes the Garabit viaduct, and of course, the Eiffel Tower. The Thuir factory now produces the Byrrh, Suze and Pernod Absinthe brands.
For generations, Suze has been renowned for its original recipe and traditional production. Its aromatic complexity is the result of a subtle balance between fresh gentian and many different aromatic plant extracts. Suze is made from both farmed gentian and wild gentian..
There are two gentian farms: one in Auvergne and the other in Seine Maritime. The first gentian crops date back to 197. They need lots of attention because the plant takes a minimum of 10 years to reach full maturity. During its initial years, the plant needs protection, especially from other grasses, so that it can develop properly. Pioneer in the 1970s, Pernod-Ricard developed the cultivation of gentian in France and implemented a reasoned and responsible agriculture (without fertilizer and without irrigation). Pernod-Ricard is still today the only manufacturer to master such cultivation. The unique know-how allows us to limit our pressure on wild resources in order to be sustainable, protect wild gentian and control the quality and supply of the root.
Earthy gentian aperitif. Essential for a white negroni and good for cocktail experiments.
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