Chartreuse Smash

A few years ago Matt and I found ourselves killing time in Ballard at a cocktail bar (as one is wont to do). The bartender served me a drink and I grimaced – not because it was too stiff, but because it was too sweet. The bartender seeing my face immediately offered to make me another a drink. He asked me what I liked to which I quickly rattled off “herbs, citrus and gin,” (so, yea, ok, I sort of like my cocktails to taste like tea). He whipped up  The Last Word, and I made a new bff in Green Chartreuse.

Green Chartreuse is a french liquor made by monks with a secret recipe. It is also, as the name suggests, bright green. The flavor of Green Chartreuse is far more complicated than its teeny bop color implies. I can only describe it as herby, and a hair sweet, rendering it a perfect companion to gin.

Because Matt bought me a bottle of this (ahem spendy) liquor for my Birthday I’ve been enjoying Green Chartreuse all year long. In the fall I made Last Words, and Lumieres. The Green Chartreuse got a bit forgotten over the Winter as we dug into darker liquors, but it made a comeback last weekend with the warm weather. This summer I’m drinking a Green Chartreuse smash which is two shots Green Chartreuse with the juice of one lemon, muddled mint leaves and a teaspoon of caster sugar, all shaken together, strained and served over crushed ice. Sunshine in a glass without crossing the line to cloying. If you wanted something stiffer you could sub in a shot of gin, or sweeter, add a dash of lemonade or limeade. If you are like me and you want your cocktails to be light yet complex wonders – give my friend Green Chartreuse a go.

Kippis!