Thursday, April 21, 2011
Burning Booze: Gimmicky or Geniousy?
.5 ounces of lemon juice
.5 ounces of Green Chartreuse
A couple of sprigs of rosemary
Directions: Make a ring with a fresh rosemary sprig in the bottom of a chilled cocktail glass and pour 1/2 ounce of Green Chartreuse on it. Swirl the Chartreuse and flip the sprig to make sure it is soaked. Shake the other ingredients with ice in a shaker. Light the Chartruse and rosemary on fire. I've seen this done by using a mister with chartreuse and lighting the mist, but I just used a match. Allow it to burn for several seconds before dousing with the contents of the shaker. Add a large handful of crushed ice and garnish with a sprig of rosemary on top.
Outcome: I simultaneously made one version where I lit the rosemary and chartreuse and one where I did not (the latter was largely consumed by my wife, who enjoyed it quite a bit). I'm not going to go through my typical ranking of taste, versatility, and hassle because of the very high degree of similarity to the Last Word, which I've reviewed. My goal was to compare the cocktail with and without fire. The latter predictably was a hair stronger because I hadn't burnt off some of the Chartreuse. I was pleasantly surprised that there was a discernible taste difference though. The burnt one had a bit of a smokey taste, a slightly cloudier appearance, and a much stronger rosemary flavor. The other tasted like the Last Word, with a hint of rosemary.
My conclusion is that for myself, I probably won't make this too often and will stick with the Last Word. However, the Rubicon mixes things up and makes for a great drink to impress company. I'm also not sure whether I like adding the crushed ice, which I had fun breaking with a hammer but intentionally weakens the drink. That said, this is a sipping drink best enjoyed over an extended period, so a couple cubes might not be a bad idea.