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In 1885, Fernand Moureaux inherited a family distillery in Maisons- Alfort. In order to rescue the company from the brink of bankruptcy, he joined forces with Henri Porte, his bank manager’s son, to create a new aperitif. The two men believed in the future of chilled aperitifs and the power of a brand, so together they strove to create a new sort of aperitif, going against the grain of what was fashionable at the time: instead of basing their aperitif on wine, they used a plant — gentian! The idea was ingenious, and in the heat of the following summer, the gentian aperitif quickly drew many enthusiasts. It even won over Parisians when, in 1889, Fernand Moureaux presented his aperitif at the World’s Fair and was awarded the prestigious gold medal. To mark the event, the pavement cafés of Paris were festooned with eye-catching orange, the signature colour of what would henceforth be known as “Suze”. Does it bear the name of Fernand Moureaux’s sister-in-law, who loved the gentian aperitif, or a small river in Switzerland close to where Fernand harvested the ingredients for this celebrated formula for the first time? In fact, the origin of the name Suze remains a mystery to this day.

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