And Now for Something Suze
I fell in love with Suze at first taste. The full-bodied citrus and herbs and the long spicy, bitter finish had me! I frequently use it as a modifier to add richness and a little herbal bitterness to various cocktails. Almost a secret ingredient.
I created this cocktail to highlight the flavors of Suze. After trying multiple styles of gin, I settled on Navy Strength Plymouth Gin. Various London dries and Botanist were also very good. I further experimented with vermouth. Sweet vermouth alone does not work well. A premium dry or a “perfect” with dry and bianco are best.
I’ve been making variations of this cocktail for a few years. Only recently have I added Bigallet’s Thym. While totally optional, the Thym enhances the woody notes of the Suze and prolongs the herbal flavors into the finish. Just remember that the Thym is the modifier here. More than 3 or 4 drops will result in a powerful taste of thyme. The nose is lemon and faint herbs. The first flavors are herbal and a touch woody. Juniper follows with continued herbs and just a hint of thyme. The finish is herbal, spicy and clean
- 2 oz. Navy Strength Gin (Plymouth)
- 1 oz. Premium Dry Vermouth such as Carpano
- 1/2 oz. Suze
- 3-4 drops Bigallet’s Thym (or half a bar spoon) – optional
- Lemon peel for garnish
- Dried lemon wheel and/or sprig of fresh thyme for garnish – optional
- Chill a cocktail glass with ice and water
- Combine all of the ingredients, except the garnishes, in a mixing glass with ice and stir to chill
- Double strain into chilled cocktail glass
- Express lemon peel over drink and discard
- If using, dress up your cocktail with the dried lemon wheel, spank the thyme and float it on the lemon wheel.