Chartreuse is a common French digestif usually enjoyed on the rocks. But, if you want to sip on something more gentle after a lovely meal with friends, try this fresh cocktail to settle your belly.
A few years back, I traveled to the French Alps. It was the first time I visited the French Mountains. A few days in, post dinner, a bottle of Chartreuse was placed on the table. Chartreuse is a common after dinner drink in France usually enjoyed straight, on ice. I tried, I really did, but with its intense green colour, earthy tones and potent flavour, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to drink it straight. I returned home from that trip with my own bottle of Chartreuse, determined to develop a palate for it. Three years later, I’m still working my way through the bottle, tucking it into cocktails whenever I can, and if I’m feeling bold, sipping on a small glass post dinner.
When I decided to join in on a cocktail themed event, I immediately knew my drink had to have chartreuse as the base. From there, I added some puréed summer cucumbers , and some gin (cucumber + gin = always). Then a little lime and simple syrup to round off the flavours.
I urge you to go buy yourself a bottle of Chartreuse, and start experimenting with it. Note that there are 3 different varieties, green being the most common. An added note about the simple syrup. I’d recommend cooking up a full batch and storing it in the fridge in a glass jar — you never know when you’re going to want to spontaneously whip up a fancy cocktail!
- 1 oz Chartreuse
- 2 oz gin
- 1 oz simple syrup
- juice from 1 lime
- 2-3 oz cucumber juice (see below)
- cucumber slices, for serving
- 2 small summer cucumbers, or half a large cucumber
- To make the cucumber juice -- peel and roughly chop your cucumber, then add it to a blender (preferably
high speed). Blend until smooth. Be sure there is enough cucumber in the blender to get it whizzing. Set aside for 30 minutes to let the froth settle, then strain through a fine mesh sieve.
- For the cocktail, combine all the ingredients in a shaker. Add a handful of ice and shake vigorously. Serve immediately with a few extra slices of cucumber.