Gentian bitters was the first bitters beverage first documented in the late 1700's. The Gentian root has a distinct dusty, bittersweet scent and flavour which could be described as fresh soil, dandelion, citrus pith, anise, tarragon, and acetone.
The Gentian root is a commonly used for bittering and is found in an array of alcoholic an non alcoholic beverages, for instance it is found in the Italian traditional spirit amaro, bitters, aperitifs and even in Moxie Soda (once had larger sales than Coca-cola).
Gentian has long been used as a bitter flavoring for alcoholic drinks, especially in Germany and Switzerland where Gentian flavored beer was drunk before the introduction of hops. Gentian wine was also served as an aperitif at 18th century dinner parties to encourage the guest’s digestion following a meal. Gentian is found in many liquor stores as the chief flavor in Vermouth, and in Stockton and Angostura bitters, both of which were originally used as digestive tonics. Today, extracts of gentian root can also be found in the American soft drink Moxie, and are attributed to its unique flavor.
One of the most bitter of the bitter digestive tonics, gentian is appropriately called "bitter root." Gentian root is a digestive bitter with cooling and drying properties. It is often used just before or just after a meal to help active the digestive system and to support the body in assimilating nutrients.
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Common Name: Gentian
Botanical Name: Gentiana Lutea (Yellow Gentian)
Country of Origin: France