Added to bottled soft drinks since the late 19th century, gentian root has a long history as a bittering agent. At Top Note, a drink mixer company founded in Milwaukee by Mary Pellettieri, a craft beer maker, and her business partner, Noah Swanson, gentian takes center stage in Gentiana, a sophisticated new tonic. It’s the first in the company’s Bartender Release series. Lip-smacking on its own, it is excellent with gin or white rum. The pale amber tonic is not as tart as the company’s classic tonic water and more pointedly bitter than its excellent Indian tonic water.
Gentiana, $49.99 for 16 bottles (8.5 ounces), $41.99 for four in a mix of assorted tonics, topnotetonic.com.