Anyone who has tried a Lambic Beer, or Trappist for that matter, or even as a youngster sampled the delights of the Fragelico bottle, over ice with a squeeze of lime, will be certain of one thing. When monks are involved with the production of liquor, the results are very special.
Chartreuse is named for the monastery in which it was originally produced, and while production has been standardized and moved to a factory in a nearby village, the monks are still supervizing operations, though I can’t quite shake the picture over fat, drunk monks from my head when I write this.
To say Chartreuse is an acquired taste is somewhat of an understatement, 150 herbal extracts are used in the production and chlorophyl to color the final product. Some less friendly bartenders have poured shots for unsuspecting patrons wanting a shot of something strong. (perhaps Chartreuse is, in fact, a kinder mistress than Fernet.)
Personally, I quite like the taste myself, herby to the extreme and packing good heat, all wrapped in a finely produced package of liqueur-y goodness.
Cocktails that use this little gem are hard to come by, but this is my particular favourite, for any number of reasons.
Cecil Baker (Naren Young)
50ml gin (preferably one with a stronger botanical flavour and aroma)
10ml green chartreuse
10ml pomme verte
5ml passionfruit syrup
Pulp of 1 passionfruit
Stir like an old fashioned with large cubed ice
garnish with a sprig of thyme (or rosemary)
The reason this drink is so special is that if a person receiving the drink asks – who is Cecil Baker? they are given a different answer each time the cocktail is made. He was the ass double for Brad Pitt in Troy, a genius twist on the naming and preparation of a drink.
And to top it all off, it was invented at the Bayswater Brasserie