Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Gentiane Salers

Vivid, incandescent golden hue. The low-minded might suggest urine sample yellow, a crude but not entirely inaccurate descriptor. This smells as you’d expect a European aperitif to: woody, herbal, sharp. Like a lot of its kin, there's an initial lick of sugar on entry, but it gradually dries out, leaving an impression of balance and finesse. The website talks about gentian grown at altitude being best-in-class for elegant bitterness: I'm no gentian expert, but for mine, this has elegance and class in spades.

I originally began seeking this - or more accurately, Suze - so I could try my hand at the White Negroni recipe in the PDT cocktail book, but I can see myself enjoying a fair bit of this as is. In terms of a reference: how about being sweet vermouth-ish in body, but closer to dry vermouth in taste, just with the bitterness factor ramped up. The back of the bottle also offers some serving suggestions as well as a snapshot of the brand's history.

Depuis 1885, “la SALERS” est restee fidele a sa recette et a son terroir d’origine. Son nom de bapteme a pour origine la provenance des raciness de gentian du Puy Mary dont le joli village de Salers – Site Remarquable de Gout – est proche. Appreciez-la pure, sur glace, avec 2 volumes de tonic, de crème de cassis, de jus d’orange ou pamplemousse, et pourquoi pas 2 traits de sirop de violette.

Or for fellow malu (malu being Indonesian for ashamed, a word I remember from my childhood in Medan) Francophiles, here's the Google Translate translation:

Since 1885, “the SALERS” has remained true to its recipe and its terroir. His baptism name originates from the raciness of gentian Puy Mary do not the pretty village of Salers - Remarkable Site of Gout - is near. Appreciate it neat, on ice with 2 volumes of tonic, creme de cassis, orange juice or grapefruit, and why not 2 dashes of violet syrup.

I ended up getting this bottle in a slightly roundabout way (thank you Jesse and Alex; let it be known that forging solid relationships with liquor retailers is a smart move) but recently spied bottles perched on the handsomely-stocked shelves of Clarences in Mt Lawley.

As well as teaching people like me correct pronunciation, here's a video that might be of interest. Personally, I'm curious as to what a 25% ABV version of Salers would taste like: according to the label, my bottle weighs in at a more aperitif-y 16% ABV.