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Cocktail Class: Meet Suze with the help of this winter sip

Cody Winfrey, bartender at Casper Fry in the Perry District, made his Winter Warmer, a cognac-based cocktail, which he describes as a marriage between a Negroni and a Manhatttan. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Cody Winfrey, bartender at Casper Fry in the Perry District, made his Winter Warmer, a cognac-based cocktail, which he describes as a marriage between a Negroni and a Manhatttan. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

Let this Winter Warmer introduce you to Suze.

The bitter liqueur, popular in France at the turn of the 20th century, has become a go-to ingredient for American bartenders during the past five years – after it finally became widely available in the U.S.

Its main ingredient, wild yellow gentian, is responsible for the drink’s vegetal, dry, earthy, woody flavor, which Casper Fry bartender Cody Winfrey confesses isn’t his favorite.

He uses Suze in his simply named Winter Warmer, a cognac-based beverage that he describes as a modern take on two combined classics: the Negroni and the Manhattan.

His creation, he said, “will warm you from within.” Although it isn’t a hot drink, it’s “full of warm and bitter flavors.”

It came about, he said, “from tinkering around.” And when he put it on special at Casper Fry earlier in the season, it received rave reviews. It’s “soft,” Winfrey said, “but full bodied.”

Winter Warmer

From Cody Winfrey

1 1/2 ounces cognac

3/4 ounce Suze

3/4 ounce Carpano Antica Formula sweet vermouth

1/2 ounce dry Curacao

2 dashes Angostura bitters

Luxardo Maraschino cherry, for garnish

Add all ingredients through bitters into mixing glass with ice and stir. Strain into glass. Garnish with a Luxardo Maraschino cherry.


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