New Year’s Eve is around the corner, and while the majority of us may be thinking of Champagne cocktails, I’ve decided to go a different route for this post, and tackle the task of keeping warm throughout the cold winter nights.
For those few out there that know me, it is common knowledge that I’m not a big fan of hot beverages. It’s not that I have anything against a steaming cup of booze, it’s just that I’ve never really gotten off on hot drinks. For those of you who are wondering, yes, this means that I am a bartender living in the land of Starbucks who has never had a full cup of coffee in his life. Me and Bigfoot: making the Pacific Northwest a wondrous place to be.
Lately, however, I’ve been warming up (pun intended), to heated libations. I don’t know if it’s because this year seems to be a colder winter than usual, or if it’s just that in my old age, my palate is changing, but lately Hot Toddies and Café Royals don’t seem so uninteresting to me.
Now, I know that there are a whole slew of “Special Coffees” out there, and that everyone has their favorite, but today I’m going to give you two recipes that use one of my all-time favorite liqueurs: Chartreuse.
Chartreuse has been around since the beginning of time, well ok, maybe not the beginning of time, but the recipe has been around since 1605 when the Carthusian monks first received a manuscript which gave them the formula for an “Elixir of Long Life”.
Many people ask me what Chartreuse tastes like, and, being a product with over 130 herbs and a recipe that is only known to two monks, my only response is to give that person a taste. In my mind, there is nothing else like it, which is partly why I love Chartreuse so much. The other reason that I love Chartreuse is its complexity. The longer you hold your sip in your mouth, the more flavors you will discover bursting forth.
If you haven’t tried Chartreuse yet, I suggest that you go out and buy a bottle (it conveniently comes in half bottles as well). Be aware that most good stores will carry two kinds of Chartreuse: green and yellow. The green has more alcohol and is more herbaceous, while the yellow comes in at 40% and I find it to be a little more mellow and honeyed. If you are worried about finding recipes using Chartreuse, this site already has nine, and CocktailDB will give you another one hundred and twenty one.
1 lump sugar
1 oz yellow Chartreuse
6 oz hot black coffee
build in a heated coffee cup
Yellow chartreuse is sweeter and mellower than the green version, and works well with a nice black coffee. As with all hot drinks, ensure that your cup is warm before adding the ingredients.
Next up we have the:
2 oz green Chartreuse
6 oz hot chocolate
build in heated glass
Wet cream is made in the same manner as whipped cream, but one stops before the cream becomes stiff. The aeration allows the cream to sit neatly on top of the hot chocolate.
If one wants to show off, one could light the Chartreuse on fire before adding the hot chocolate, as this is a showy way of heating the glass before serving.
Happy New Year, and I’ll see you all in ’08!