March 6, 2010

"Excuse me, I'm John Smith!" "John Smith 1882?" "My mistake."

It happens show up at the bar, and there's another girl there wearing the exact same outfit as you. Let's try that again. You show up at the bar, order a drink, and get something that's nothing at all like what you were expecting. Before you haul off and smack the bartender, consider this: there may be multiple drinks with that name that bear some passing similarity to each other, but are different enough that your bartender may have heard of one but not the other. I'm not just talking about different recipes (see part one of an ongoing series that hasn't gone on yet regarding variants on the Singapore Sling), but drinks with maybe an extra space, or a slightly different spelling, or even no difference at all that are nevertheless different.

Tonight I made a drink called the "Scoff Law Cocktail," which is not to be confused with the previously featured "Scofflaw Cocktail." Confused yet? No? Good, then I can introduce you to a new ingredient being used on here for the first time tonight; Chartreuse.

"Wait," I hear you say, "Isn't that a color?" Why, yes it is. It's a shade of a sort of yellow-green hue. However, Chartreuse-the-spirit comes in two colors. Green Chartreuse and Yellow Chartreuse. Kind of like how, in the southern US, you might get this little exchange in a diner or restaurant:
Customer: "And can I get a Coke?"
Server: "Sure, what kind ya want? We got Pepsi Coke, Sprite Coke, orange Coke..."
In this case, Chartreuse refers to the spirit, not the specific color. As a matter of fact, the color was named after the spirit, as it's been made since 1605 or so. Now are you confused? Good. You'll want a drink to settle your addle-pated mind. Make this one.
Scoff Law Cocktail

1 oz rye whiskey
1 oz dry vermouth
3/4 oz green Chartreuse
3/4 oz lemon juice
1-2 dashes orange bitters

Stir all with ice, strain into cocktail glass.
If you've never had Chartreuse, it's really nearly impossible to describe. There's 130 different plant flavors in there, and the few that can be agreed upon are anise and hyssop. It's very vegetal, but a little sweet. There's a little spice in there, to boot. A very complicated flavor. In our drink, it melds with the spice of the rye, the sour of the lemon, and the botanicals from the vermouth. It's really a hard flavor to pin down, but that complexity makes for a very interesting cocktail. If your local bar has a hidden stash of Chartreuse, see if they can make this particular version of the Scoff Law.

Scoff Law Cocktail


Post a Comment