Emerald Elixir

Companionship is important when you are a hobby mixologist. Companions allow you to test your creations and enable your craft with new and exciting ingredients. In one such situation, my husband, Will, surprised me with a liqueur after I finished a grueling written actuarial exam (and several months of no social life). I had been dreaming of this liqueur for months and was overjoyed to receive as part of my cocktail arsenal. Did I mention Will has excellent powers of observation (for which he is often rewarded in Valcohol)?

That liqueur was green Chartreuse - a magical herbal concoction originally created by French monks in the 1700s from over 130 different plants and flowers. You may have seen it on the menus at fancy cocktail bars and wondered what to expect from an ingredient you can't pronounce ("shar-troose"). Having tried it on its own, I've found it packs a punch of herbal, sweet and slightly bitter flavors. This means a little bit goes a long way and the price tag is more than justified for the concentrated complexity you'll get out of it. I chose to pair it with one of my favorite gins (Terroir by St. George), green apple shrub, ginger liqueur and lemon juice. The result was slightly sweet, deliciously herbal and greater than the sum of its parts.

The Emerald Elixir

  • 2 oz gin (I recommend a more complex gin - something with more than just juniper flavor)
  • 1 tbsp each of:
    • Green Chartreuse
    • Ginger liqueur
    • Lemon juice
    • Green apple shrub
  • 2 oz filtered water (alternatively, you can top this cocktail with sparkling wine after shaking the above ingredients with ice and straining into a glass)

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with a couple of ice cubes per cocktail and shake vigorously until frosted. Strain into a small stemmed glass and enjoy while discussing the awesomeness of French monks (optional).