Gentian root is the cut and sifted root of Gentiana lutea, an herbaceous perennial plant with yellow flowers. Other members of the Gentiana family come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and flower colors.
Perhaps the most common bittering agent of all, many recipes call for gentian root.
Medically used as a digestive tonic, including stimulating the appetite.
Recipes Using Gentian Root
- Jerry Thomas’ Bartenders Guide of 1862 includes ten recipes for bitters, of which four use gentian as an ingredient: No. 41, Bitter Danziger Drops; No. 42, English Bitters; No. 43, Essence Bitters; and No. 48, Stoughton Bitters.
- Warren Bobrow’s Bitters & Shrub Syrup Cocktails has one recipe for aromatic bitters, which calls for gentian among other herbs.
- Mark Bitterman’s Field Guide to Bitters and Amari alternatively calls for gentian root and gentian bark in eight of the twelve bitters recipes listed in his book.
- Brad Thomas Parson’s Bitters includes seven bitters recipes, out of a total of thirteen, which use gentian.
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