Top Note, American-made craft mixer brand innovating in beverages since 2017, introduced Gentiana, the first aperitivo soda in the United States featuring French gentian root in 145 years. Gentiana is also the first product in Top Note’s new Bartender Release series, which will feature limited edition sparkling mixers reflecting contemporary flavor trends in the cocktail and spirit-free drinks industry and only released once a year in limited quantities. There are 700 cases of Gentiana, now available through a select number of Top Note’s alcohol beverage distributors, Faire marketplace for direct-to-store orders, and direct to consumers online.
Gentiana highlights the distinct aromatics and bitterness from gentian root and is the first of its kind produced in the United States since Moxie soda’s original recipe from 1876. Gentian root is most commonly used as a bittering agent for making cocktail bitters and bitter liqueurs. Top Note has relied on its aromatic flavor since developing their original cocktail syrups in 2014, and their first sparkling tonic waters in 2017. Their Indian Tonic Water and Bitter Lemon Tonic Water both contain the aromatic herb as a bittering ingredient. The Indian Tonic water won the coveted SoFi award from the Specialty Food Association in 2017.
“Gentiana was conceptualized as a way of giving a nod to our origin story as well as the growing popularity of aperitivo-style cocktails in the United States,” said Mary Pellettieri, Top Note Tonic, founder. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to re-introduce Americans to this incredible gentian root beverage and can’t wait to see what concoctions bartenders come up with.”
The special release tonic offers bartenders an alternative to bitter liqueurs or hard-to-find bitter sodas for reducing or removing alcohol content in higher-proof bitter cocktails. Made with French alpine gentian root and inspired by Italian bitter sodas, the non-alcoholic tonic water can be served on its own or mixed in a cocktail or spirit-free beverage. Gentiana’s distinct and complex flavor pairs well with fresh citrus as well as traditional components of Italian apertivi like Campari and olives.
Midnight in Paris
1 1/4 ounces barrel-strength bourbon
1 ounce sweet vermouth
3 ounces Top Note Gentiana Tonic Water
Orange slice for garnish
Cocktail cherry for garnish
Stir ingredients together in a glass with ice and garnish.