Here we have two refreshing cocktails that whilst not very festive, at least in their entirety, they do have subtle festive flavours. However I have tried to keep their refreshing profiles at the forefront because I want them to be available for all year round and not just for Christmas.
Therefore I have decided not to tweak the first cocktail, a classic using Green Chartreuse. And have also decided to share a cocktail I recently came up with and whilst it is not perfected is still a very refreshing combination of ingredients.
#1: Chartreuse Smash
2 measures Green Chartreuse
1 measure fresh lemon juice
2tsp brown sugar
10 mint leaves
Combine the sugar, lemon and mint leaves in a Boston shaker glass and gently muddle until the sugar dissolves.
Add ice to the mixture and then pour in the Chartreuse.
Shake well, for around 30 seconds – or until the tin is well iced.
Strain into a small glass full with crushed ice.
Top up with more crushed ice if necessary and then garnish with a sprig of mint and a lemon twist. Serve immediately and with a straw.
This cocktail is somewhat of a god amongst mortals. In that it is a pretty great drink. I’ve never tried Chartreuse before this drink, shamefully I’ve never had the opportunity, but thought that should change. And boy am I glad I tried it in this cocktail! It’s a perfect balance of sweet and bitter sugar-lemon with the refreshing mint to counter the earthy qualities of the Herbal Chartreuse.
Combined as it is above, over crushed ice – lengthened and well-chilled, it breaks through that barrier of ‘not too sure about this’ we tend to set up with new flavours or ingredients we’ve never tried. It’s a drink I would suggest any one of you try – should you ever have the pleasure of owning some chartreuse, or better yet have the pleasure of being in one of the few bars that actually sell this cocktail!
It’s a great introduction to one of the most stunning liqueurs on the market, an introduction that makes me want to write more about the spirit in a future post (keep an eye out for that one).
I suppose the best thing I can say about this cocktail is that by the time I finished the first mouthful I already had the straw in my mouth for the second. Scarily moreish!
Also if you like Mojito and Sour style cocktails then this is a must!
So the title of this post may confuse some, after all Cognac is a common spirit used in cocktails. However it’s not a spirit I usually meddle with when creating cocktails, mainly because it’s not my favourite, although its slightly higher price tag (for a decent quality bottle anyway) is always a turn off.
So it was a refreshing surprise to see that the March Shaken Cocktails box came with a cognac theme! It meant that I had to use it to create, at least, the two cocktails in the booklet…
The box, as plain – yet slightly alluring, as always came with the main spirit: Cognac, a couple of minor spirits: Triple Sec & Kings Ginger Liqueur (41 %!!!) and then followed up with a couple of syrups: Cinnamon Syrup & plain sugar syrup. Whilst I had to go out and buy the fresh apple juice and fresh lemons*, creating of the drinks was simple yet fulfilling…
As always the two cocktails were different enough as offer a strong, short cocktail as well as a longer, more refreshing (and lighter) cocktail for those, like me, who like their alcohol a little more mixed in…
I created both cocktails to the specifications sent with the box, before tweaking the recipes to my taste as and where needed. The stronger cocktail was, as thought, strong and quite hard to finish for someone of my persuasion.
The long cocktail, however, was near perfection, and the recipe helped blend the ingredients perfectly. Although I feel Cinnamon is a flavour that should rarely roam outside of autumn or winter, the longer cocktail is perfect for mild spring-time evenings out in the garden.
Every time a box turns up I get all giddy, I just love making cocktails, and better yet I love making new cocktails. There are only so many times you can make a mean Daiquiri before it gets a little old.
So every time one turns up the box is destroyed (then recycled) and the bottles are fawned over until I calm down and read the booklet… I’ve included the recipes, along with a little picture of each drink…
40ml Merlet Brothers Blend Cognac
30ml Merlet Brothers Triple Sec
15ml fresh Lemon Juice
5ml sugar syrup
First rim a fancy cocktail glass with sugar, use lemon juice as an adhesive.
Shake for 20-30 seconds with ice, or until the shaker ices over.
Strain into the rimmed cocktail glass and garnish with a twist of lemon peel.
This cocktail is based on a classic Sidecar with a few little tweaks. The original is a 3 ingredient special: A strong spirit, sweeter spirit & fruit juice [Cognac, Triple Sec & Lemon Juice]. Shaken say the taste of the original is a little sour, and they’re not wrong. Personally I like the original but I also love tweaking recipes so this version is right up my street.
Whilst I’m not usually a fan of strong cocktails the Sidecar, like the Daiquiri, is a strong, yet refreshing cocktail and therefore a little easier on your mouth.
Whilst I love tweaking cocktails, this recipe is pretty good and there was not much I could do with the other ingredients I currently have, so no tweaking here.
40ml Merlet Brothers Blend Cognac
15ml Kings Ginger Liqueur
15ml Cinnamon Sugar Syrup
20ml Fresh Lemon Juice
30ml Cloudy Apple Juice
Optional: Top up with Soda Water
Chill a tall glass in your freezer and fill a shaker half way with ice.
Combine all the ingredients in the shaker and shake well, for around 30 seconds (or until the shaker ices over).
Fill your tall glass ¾ full with cubed ice.
Strain your drink into the glass and garnish with a twist of lemon and a couple of straws.
This cocktail is perfect for a summers evening, and even better for the spring. Spring time is famous for trees flowering their blossoms, birds singing glorious songs and the weather, whilst unpredictable (here in the UK at least), is just starting to warm and if you luck out you might just get some porch time. This cocktail will be perfect for that porch time. It’s long, so it’s not too strong. It’s also going to keep cold enough to sip thoughtfully, as well as drink quickly. Its flavours are surprisingly fit for spring, despite the cinnamon being more of an autumn/winter spice.
Overall it’s a very good cocktail, that whilst I tweaked mine by adding some soda water (just to lengthen it a little), it’s got a bit of a kick to it without the soda so if that’s how you prefer your drink, leave it out.
These cocktails are a great addition to my repertoire and a wonderful selection by the guys and gals over at Shaken Cocktails. I’ll be enjoying a few more drinks using that Ginger liqueur too, at least until the next box turns up later this week!!!