Fernand Moureaux, creator of Suze, was the heir to a family distillery. In 1885, he created an aperitif based on gentian roots, initially at 32% abv, although this was soon moderated to 20%. He presented his apéritif à la gentiane at the universal exhibition in 1889, where it was immediately awarded a gold medal. He named it suze, after his step-sister, Suzanne. 

The source of the flavours is fresh wild gentian root from the Auvergne, and fresh cultivated gentian root from Normandy – half of each. The wild roots take 20 to 30 years to be ready to harvest, while the cultivated variety takes a mere 9 to 13 years. The wild roots are harvested manually with an implement known as “la fourche du diable” – the devil's fork. The gentler terrain of the cultivated roots can be mechanically harvested, although selection is still entirely manual. he roots are macerated in neutral alcohol for around a year before being pressed to extract the flavour. The bouquet is enhanced by the addition of a distillate of angelica and other herbs.