Archive for the ‘Chartreuse’ Category

A Bright, Crisp Cocktail to Welcome Fall

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

You know how great it is when you introduce a friend to something new and they go all crazy for it? Well, it may not be in the same league as turning someone on to bungee jumping or roller derby, but I’m pretty psyched that I introduced “Ginger” to ginger beer. Now she’s a connoisseur of the spicy, non-alcoholic brews (think ginger ale but with more tang), and recently slipped me a bottle of Reed’s Spiced Apple Brew. Pretty tasty, especially when combined with rum, Chartreuse and mint!

I’m glad I spotted this recipe before winging it, because it wouldn’t have occurred to me to try the Chartreuse.  The apple-y ginger, Chartreuse and mint flavors dance really well here. I really couldn’t tease out the rum and I’m thinking that citrus vodka or plain rum wouldn’t make much difference. 

Say hello to fall with this bright, crisp drink:

Mid-Autumn Highball (original recipe)

6 mint leaves, plus sprig for garnish
¾ oz simple syrup (I omitted)
½ oz green Chartreuse
1 ½ oz citrus rum
3 oz alcoholic sparkling apple cider (I used 3 ½ oz Reed’s Spiced Apple Brew)

Muddle the mint leaves in a cocktail shaker, and then add ice and all ingredients except the Reed’s. Shake well to chill, and then pour into an ice-filled highball glass. Add the Reed’s brew and stir gently. Note: I substituted 3 ½ oz of Reed’s Spiced Apple Brew for the apple cider and omitted the simple syrup because I correctly suspected that the Reed’s would add enough sweetness. 

My variation of the Mid-Autumn Highball uses spiced apple ginger beer.

Autumn is obviously hitting the Pacific Northwest early this year, and now I have the drink to toast the season.  Thanks, Ginger! 

Cheers, ICE

 

You Can Lead a Horticulture, But You Can’t Make Her Drink*

Thursday, July 8th, 2010
I’m getting used to strange looks from friends. Usually they stem from my mention of some less common (but incredibly yummy) liquor or the fact that I have willingly embarked on a cooking-related activity in pursuit of a cocktail. But I know I’m in for some serious eye-rolling when I say that I’m actually growing my own food – herbs, mostly – to use for cocktails.

Past years I’ve stuck to planting shrubs, trees and other perennials in the yard, but frankly the upkeep is pretty tedious. I’m not into tedious.  However, I figured that a few pots filled with herbs should be manageable even for me. Oh, and a Topsy Turvy strawberry planter because my kids can’t pass one on the street without yelling, “Topsy Turvy! Topsy Turvy! You should get one, Mom!” Buying a few strawberry plants seemed like better parenting than duct tape as a gag.

Who knows if my “garden” will bring forth cocktail bounty?  I will admit it has been very satisfying to wander to the patio to pick the mint, lemon thyme, basil or cilantro called for in my recipe books.  Soon I should be able to try out some pineapple mint, orange mint, thai basil and sage, too.

My cocktail garden.

In the meantime, here is a great recipe that utilizes the cilantro, as well as the blackberries that are poised to take over in my region. My friend Dee calls the Yerba Mora, “bright and lovely.” Funny, that’s how I describe Dee, too.

Yerba Mora  (created by mixologist Joaquin Simo)

5 cilantro leaves
5 blackberries, plus 3 blackberries skewered on a pick for garnish
Ice
2 ounces blanco tequila
1/2 ounce green Chartreuse
Dash of absinthe
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 ounce honey syrup (equal parts honey and warm water, shaken to mix)

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the 5 blackberries. Add ice and all of the remaining ingredients except the skewered blackberries and shake well. Strain (a small fine-mesh sieve is handy to catch the blackberry seeds) into an ice-filled highball glass and garnish with the skewered blackberries (optional).

The Chartreuse is an appealing liqueur and one of the finds that I’ve been happiest about discovering. I have the green Chartreuse called for in the Yerba Mora, but there is a also a yellow (and therefore not actually chartreuse) Chartreuse that is sweeter. Monks in France have been making it for centuries, which suddenly make monks seem far more interesting. It has also made my liquor cabinet more interesting.

Cheers, ICE

*This headline – slightly tweaked – is courtesy of writer Dorothy Parker’s quote, “You can lead a horticulture, but you can’t make her think.”