You’re probably wondering what to have for National Junk Food Day on July 21 and we’re here to help with the Mountain Suze. Suze is hardly a junk food – it’s a wonderful French aperitif that we’ve used in drinks like La Tour Eiffel and the White Negroni. The Mountain Suze is just another use in the growing category of oddball highballs. The other ingredient, of course, is Mountain Dew, that peculiar soda you may not have had since you were seven years old. But stay with us here, the Mountain Suze is shockingly delicious.
Does Mountain Dew qualify as junk food? Well, like most soda pop full of high fructose corn syrup it’s probably not the best thing to use as your primary source of hydration. But it’s liquid and Cheetos just don’t mix well in a drink. So regardless of whether you think it’s a junk food we’re going to stick with the Mountain Suze as Drink of the Day.
National Junk Food Day
National Junk Food Day is for you if you’ve ever pined for a day that endorses throwing all dietary caution to the wind, Whether you make it a festival of Cheetos and onion rings washed down with soda pop, or fast food for every meal, it’s your day.
Junk food, of course, started to become popular in the U.S. during the 1950s. The definition is largely edible substances high in fats, sugars, salt and calories. Mountain Dew, of course, has the sugar side down. Adding Suze just puts in additional calories and alcohol, though we know the latter is good for you. Its Gentian root is also a millennia old appetite stimulant and digestive aid. Hence, we believe the combination provides a balance needed for anyone feeling guilty about going on a junk food bender.
Your choice for accompaniments to the Mountain Suze is entirely up to you, but we advise keeping Yogi Berra’s guidance in mind:
“When the waitress asked if I wanted my pizza cut into four or eight slices, I said, ‘Four. I don’t think I can eat eight.’”
The origin of the National Day itself remains a mystery. It seems there’s no written history, and perhaps nobody is willing to shoulder the liability. The Mountain Suze drink, however, does have a discernible history.
It appears we have Sother Teague to thank for the Mountain Suze. A highly regarded bartender, he’s also a culinary school graduate and was a research and technical chef for Alton Brown’s show Good Eats. Following some time teaching at the New England Culinary Institute he saw the light and landed behind the bar at the now defunct Booker and Dax in New York. At present he’s both executive chef and head bartender at Amor y Amargo, which is practically next door to Death & Co.
The idea for the Mountain Suze came up at a backyard barbecue when he and friends tried to brainstorm a cocktail and name that could match the Ferrari (Fernet and Campari) and Maserati (mezcal and Ramazzotti) for self-explanatory brilliance. Suddenly someone suggested Mountain Suze and it was game over.
Teague has a short video up of him mixing the drink, and exclaims, “Holy shit, this is delicious!” We agree. Many comments to his video proscribe other oddball combos. Barolo Chinato and cherry Coke. Chartreuse and grape soda. Ramazzotti and root beer.
We offer no opinion on those other suggestions, but before you dismiss the concept of oddball highballs, remember that Fernet Branca and Coca Cola is practically the national drink of Argentina.
The Mountain Suze went viral because, well, it tastes good. It’s popular enough that T-shirts are available if you’re so inclined.
- Collins or Highball Glass
- 2 oz Suze
- 6 oz Mountain Dew
- Fill tall glass with ice.
- Add Suze over ice.
- Insert barspoon and pour Mountain Dew down the handle of the spoon to fill glass while preserving carbonation.
- Stir briefly.
- Accompany with junk food of your choice.