Country of origin: France Alcohol content: 16% ABV
Inspired by the traditional gentian-infused wine of Auvergne, Alfred Labounoux set about creating a liqueur based on yellow gentian root at his family's distillery in the late 1800s. He named this new aperitif after the village of Salers, near which gentian grew wild on the volcanic slopes of Puy Mary.
Gentiane Lutea takes about twenty years to mature fully and only flowers every two years. The roots weigh between 3–6kg each and from June to September the gentianaîres use their specialised “devil’s fork” to uproot the plants in an arduous process that has defied industrialisation.
The roots are washed and crushed while still fresh, then steeped in neutral alcohol for several weeks. After maceration is complete, the roots are distilled to extract additional flavour for complexity. The infusion and distillate are combined with an aromatic bouquet then aged in Limousin oak barrels for two years. Bottled at the original 16% ABV, Salers is still made according to Alfred’s recipe.
"Fière de ses racines" — "Proud of its roots"
Rather than being dark and heavy, Salers offers the bright earthiness of gentian with floral, vegetal, and subtle citrus notes. Characteristic bitterness is tempered by age in barrel and light sweetness.
Made with wild gentian and aged in Limousin oak barrels, this is a more rustic and handmade substitute for Suze, with which it shares many of its characteristics. Give it a try if you’re looking for a gentian liqueur with a bit more bite and character than its more widely known cousin.
Enjoy in a White Negroni, Grapefruit Spritz, or mixed with crème de cassis and sparkling water for a refreshing aperitif. Or use to amp up a G&T. Use wherever gentian liqueur is called for.
About Distillerie de la Salers:
Ambroise Labounoux founded Distillerie Labounoux in 1885, and grew famous for his Kirsch. His son, Alfred, became enamoured with traditional Auvergnate gentian-infused wine and introduced Salers to the distillery’s range with great success. The distillery remained in the family for generations and joined with Distillerie des Terres Rouges in 2008, still being family owned today.
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