La distillerie du Risoux – “The distillery of Le Risoux” - in Les Charbonnières, was founded in 1992 by Mr. and Mrs. Dominique Bonny-Honegger.
These gentiana lutea (big yellow gentian) enthusiasts have continued the gentian production and thus maintained a patrimonial tradition and knowledge, and this by means of two fifty-year-old stills.
In order to succeed, you need a very clean raw product. The autumn tasks are very arduous; on average, 10 tons of gentian roots are reaped, on exclusively local pastureland, and then distilled (registered trademark). Once thoroughly cleaned, the roots are crushed and put into barrels for fermentation. Water, yeast and other ingredients are added to the roots, which will ferment during two months. The natural sugar products of the plant, as trisaccharide gentianose, gentiobiose, maltose, fructose and glucose, will be transformed into alcohol.
The alchemy of distillation, together with flair and exact measures, will finally transform the substance into a 45 percent alcohol by volume.
This aristocratic schnapps, as the producers like to call it, is highly appreciated by its connoisseurs – men, women, young and old. Known for its digestive, appetizing, stimulating and febrifugal virtues, the big yellow gentian hasn’t stopped surprising us, as it is also an antidepressant. So, here we have got a plant with bright prospects!
Another alcohol from the same producers is the Missile Sol-Air liqueur, based on fir bud syrup with a temperate amount of distilled gentian, 20 percent alcohol by volume.