One bottle of Chartreuse is enough for most people to keep in their bar. At last glance I noticed we had three, which was a tell-tale sign that I was neglecting this floral, herbal sip in my makings for happy hour. So I set out to find a suitable cocktail for fall that included this gorgeous, herbaceous green liqueur.
It didn't take long to find it sings when mixed with gin and since we'd been on a Negroni kick this was perfect for shaking up our tried and true happy hour go-to. Instead of the Campari in a Negroni, we swapped it out for the emerald Chartreuse and added some orange bitters.
Obviously, I was not the first to mix up this crew of spirits. In fact, this dates back to the turn of the century in Harry Johnson's Bartender's Manual. It is known as the Bijou, which is French for "jewel." It gets that name because it mixes the colors of three jewels; diamonds (the crystal clear gin), rubies (the red vermouth), and emeralds (the Chartreuse).
This sip was exactly what I was seeking. I've been gearing up for a big culinary event this month at the French Consulate with Les Dames de Escoffier, to celebrate Julia Child. So this jewel cocktail followed suit for my French night out, but I also found that it's ideal for dressing up any occasion this fall. Chartreuse is spicy and has all sorts of fall flavors like cinnamon, cloves, and pine. In a cocktail it can lend spicy and sweet layers that mix well with rye or whiskey, sips I usually savor when the weather gets a little chilly.
So whether you want a little French flair for your happy hour or you're looking to glam up your cocktail shaker tonight, go for the Bijou. It's tres magnifique and it's fun to say Bijou, you can't go wrong.
The Bijou "Jewel" Cocktail Recipe
3 parts gin
1 part green Chartreuse
1 part sweet vermouth
Dash of orange bitters
Lemon peel for garnish
Pour everything except the lemon peel into a shaker filled with ice. Stir and strain into a glass. Add lemon peel for garnish.
Maureen C. Petrosky writes what she knows, food, booze and parties. Author of The Wine Club, she appears regularly on The TODAY show to share her vices (and advice) with the world. For more info check out www.maureenpetrosky.com or follow her on Twitter @maureenpetrosky.
Related: Cocktail University: Chartreuse
(Images: Maureen Petrosky)