Thursday, October 11, 2012

Green with Envy....

Only a few weeks after our last Mixology Monday installment and we're already off and running to a new segment!  This month's subject is one that host Ed of Wordsmithing Pantagruel has given us a fairly wide birth on; green.  Apparently anything green can be used, from the base spirit, to a mixer and even the garnish.  Sounds easy enough, and I can tell you that the first thing to come to mind was the classic Bijou cocktail. 

The Bijou was created sometime around the tail end of the 19th century and showed up in Harry Johnson's 1900 "New and Improved Bartender Manual".  Bijou is French for "jewel', characterized by the color that is obtained from each component: gin for diamond, vermouth for ruby, and chartreuse for emerald.  The original version has equal parts gin, sweet vermouth and Green Chartreuse, giving way to a very intensely sweet cocktail.  Makes sense seeing as how people had quite the sweet tooth as a buffer to the usually harsh spirits produced at that time.  I prefer the more "dry" version that is a 3:1:1 ratio.  This version gives way to a more complex and balanced cocktail. 

Bijou
1 1/2 oz Gin
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
Dash of Orange Bitters
Maraschino Cherry for Garnish

Stir with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish and enjoy.

While imbibing this classic libation, it came to mind that these ingredients would play well with the spicy character of a decent rye and the floral sweetness of lavender.  I've had a bottle of lavender liqueur laying around and in much need of some playtime so I headed off to the think tank (ergo, my bar).  While orange bitters is a usual favorite of mine to dash with bourbon and rye, I opted for some grapefruit bitters this time as I felt I needed a little tart hint to balance out the sweetness of the Chartreuse and lavender.  I recently saw a new trailer for the upcoming remake of the classic movie The Great Gatsby and thought that was as good as any name I could think of.  And kind of went with this lavish and verbose cocktail.

Gatsby
1 1/2 oz Rye
1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
1/2 oz broVo Lavender Liqueur
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
Dash of Grapefruit bitters
Top with Brut Champagne
Preserved Cherry for Garnish

Stir with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Top with Champagne, garnish and enjoy.


Thanks again, Ed, for hosting this month "green" theme!  Be sure to catch all the other great contributions at Wordsmithing Pantagruel.  Cheers!

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