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Here at VM we have a long, complicated history with the esoteric but vital French aperitif Suze. Years ago, we wrote about our passion for a then brand-spanking new cocktail—the White Negroni—that we had become enamoured with when visiting San Francisco’s Trick Dog. We came home, wanting to replicate it in Vancouver, only to find no Suze anywhere in the Province. Quel surprise, as the makers of Suze might say. So we got Katie Ingram, pre-Elisa, pre-BOTY, pre-AnnaLena, pre-flying the coop for Amsterdam—to make a hack for us using sake and Cochi Americano.
But then Suze was available and it became clear to some of us that the real draw of the White Negroni was its rarity. Once everyone could make it, it lost a bit of its appeal. But that’s not to crap on Suze—it still has that utterly unique mix of floral and earthy and a big bite of bitter that’s totally unique. We love Suze—we just needed an outlet for it’s weirdness.
And after all that searching—the mixing with Galiano, with rye, with sherry (editor’s note: we didn’t actually try any of these)—the answer was as simple as could be: Sub it in for Gin in a G&T. It not only lowers the potency of the drink (Suze is only 20 percent so you can have twice as many) but it has a flavour profile that can really stand up to the tonic, creating sort of Battle Royale in the glass.
You can find plenty of recipes on the internet, so if you’re the type of weirdo who would look up a recipe for a G&T—by all means search Suze + Tonic. Or you could wing it just like you’d do with a G&T—I like a taller glass, but you could go short too. It could take a wedge of citrus. Maybe stay away from bitters. But it’s your baby—and you have a week left to perfect it. You can buy at Legacy Liquor store, though it’s pretty pricey ($50), so maybe go with Schweppes for your tonic.