Originally written in August 2015.
Adventures in Green Fairyland
It happens. In the heat of the Summer, you get tired of wine and beer.
When we get to comfortable with our wine and beer it is easy to just start going on autopilot. Gone is thoughtful, intensional attention to whatever qualities your favorite wine or beer has, or worse you look at your collection of wines and you don’t have the urge to open anyone of them. You go to the chilled wine or beer section and you can’t believe nothing appeals to you.
These times are certainly first world problems, and they have a first world solution.
In these tough times, you can choose ingenuity over despair and make yourself an artisan cocktail.
This little golden beauty is called a Chrysanthemum.
2 oz Dry Noilly Prat Vermouth
1 tsp of La Clandestine Absinthe
2 tablespoons of Dom Benedictine
Combine ingredients into a cocktail shaker with half a cup of ice and shake. Then strain it into a chilled and frosty martini glass.
I came by this recipe by way of my obsession with Absinthe and trolling all the “absinthe cocktail recipes.”
The first absinthe was a Grande Absente because someone at Bevmo had poor taste/judgement. It isn’t bad, but it isn’t good. So now I use it to make shots with sweet vermouth until it is gone. What is better is La Clandestine Absinth from Switzerland. It doesn’t have the green shade that the Grande has, but it far more sophisticated and refreshing. The La Clandestine is perfect for this cocktail because it is meant to be sophisticated, flowery, and refreshing. A little goes a long way. Some people take that teaspoon and simply line the frosted glass with it. I just dump it in with a little dash more because I like absinthe.
The Benedictine provides this honey-soaked, citrusy and spicy complexity. The dry vermouth adds even more complexity and crispness. Given there is so little absinthe, this really isn’t an absinthe cocktail, but a beautiful dance between the Benedictine and Dry Vermouth, while the absinthe plays music in the background. More accurately, the absinthe is smoking a cigar with an aroma you will never forget while Benedictine and Dry Vermouth dances together seductively.
This is liquid sunshine. Each ingredient can be enjoyed on the rocks by themselves, but they combine to make this delightful cocktail.
When I sip it, I am reminded of a french perfume by Guerlain called Chamade. This 1969 perfume has notes of hyacinthe, turkish rose, ylang-ylang, jasmine, blackcurrant, lily of the valley, galbanum, sandlewood, vetiver, musk, amber, and tonka wood. It has been described as bottled springtime. I have worn it and it makes me feel like I am laying on a chaise lounge sofa in a Parisian apartment with warm spring sunshine pouring on me from floor to ceiling windows. The perfume was supposed to "emulate the feeling of a heart beat that is in love."
Chrysanthemum cocktails captures all that in a glass. Wow. You will find yourself telling yourself that this is your drink forever. Like the first blush of love, it might not be true, but at the time it feels true. You will go onto loving other cocktails, but when you think of that Chrysanthemum, you will smile.