photo by @rachelgurjar
Sweet cocktails are just not for me. I prefer a bitter Negroni over almost anything with a simple syrup. I take my wine bone dry and anything with bubbles better be brut. Do you find me obnoxious yet?
In the summer my drink of choice is the alluring Aperol Spritz which straddles the fence between sweet, tart, bitter and acidic; a ‘sessionable’ cocktail if you will.
I would consider myself a seasonal drinker. When the clock strikes June, there will be Rosé or the aforementioned Aperol Spritz in my glass until Labor Day. When the first chill of fall comes through the East I switch to Red. Something bright and peppery to keep me warm through February. Then comes March and April and what’s a girl to do (drink)?
Considering my love of all things Campari and Aperol I wanted to expand my repertoire of bitter bevvies to get me through the doldrums of March. I’ve always been intrigued by the vibrant green substance that is Green Chartreuse but didn’t know much about it. I’ve enjoyed it in a “Last Word” or two (gin, Green Chartreuse, Maraschino liqueur and lime juice) but wanted to learn more.
I picked up a bottle and got to experimenting. The liqueur has a bit of a syrupy quality to it and a beautiful light green color. That color comes from a secret formulation of 130 plants and flowers that only two Chartreuse monks know the identity of. I wish I could say I learned this fact by visiting the distillery located in the Chartreuse Mountains in Southeastern France but alas that knowledge was thanks to the trusty and reliable Google machine.
Once I tasted the liqueur straight (woah, not for the faint of heart!) I knew I wanted to make some sort of Spritz out of it. The spicy, pungent and herbaceous bite was longing for loads of ice, crisp prosecco, fresh lime juice and bunches of mint. I wish I could tell you the resulting cocktail took the shape of mixology magic, but I literally mixed it up right in a collins glass, added some ice and topped the whole thing off with some club soda. The results? Fresh clean perfection. This cocktail is anything but cloyingly sweet and keeps you interested as you drink it. (Might I suggest as you sip that you try to guess all 130 plants and herbs hiding in this secret concoction? You may never know the answer but your creativity and palate may surprise you!)
One disclaimer, this is certainly less ‘sessionable’ than the Aperol Spritz it was inspired by, at 55% ABV this green potion will knock your socks off so imbibe with caution!
Recipe and Headnote Molly Adams
- 1/ 2 cup packed fresh mint leaves
- 2 ounces fresh lime juice
- 8 ounces prosecco
- 4 ounces Green Chartreuse
- Ice, as needed
- 2 ounces club soda
- 2 fresh lime wheels
Divide the mint and lime juice among two collins glasses and muddle the mint for about 30 seconds. Divide the prosecco and Green Chartreuse among each glass, then fill with ice. Top with club soda and garnish with lime wheels before serving.