Since 1865, this spicy, earthy aperitif has been known as “ouvre l’appétit” – the key to the appetite. Serious in its role as an aperitif, and then popular with sportsmen, Bonal became an early sponsor of the Tour de France. It is made by an infusion of gentian, cinchona (quinine) and renowned herbs of the Grande Chartreuse mountains in a mistelle base. While tradition is to drink neat with a twist, Bonal also mixes well with fresh or hard cider, sparkling wine, and Scotch or American whiskies. Excellent with hard, salty cheeses, salted nuts, or earthy, spicy foods.
Bonal is an excellent choice for adding a bitter edge and robust texture. Simply add tonic water and a squeeze of lemon for an afternoon delight. Substitute Bonal for most or all of the gin in a Collins, and serve salted nuts on the side. The vinous texture and balanced aromatics of Bonal make it an excellent substitute for more strident amari, either as aperitif/digestif or in a stirred cocktail with Scotch, rye, brandy or agave spirits.
Credit: Haus Alpenz