Entrepreneur. Cocktail and spirit champion. Old world wine provocateur.
Death’s Door gin is a beautiful thing. Aside from being a well crafted American version of the classic London dry style – loaded with juniper, coriander and fennel – it also has a fantastic name with endless potential for creative cocktail building. Half of my job typically revolves around naming cocktails in elegant, respectful and obnoxious ways, so this gin gives me a leg up.
While working through new cocktail ideas last week, I kept coming back to one of my all time favorites, the Last Word. The Last Word is a simple to make cocktail from the prohibition era period, yet it is loaded with complexity and elegance . It combines gin, lime, maraschino and Green Chartreuse and the result is stunning. While wading through some new variations, I found myself mystically drawn to Velvet Falernum, a sugarcane based liqueur that is made with lime and almond, with tasting notes of clove, vanilla, and ginger. It has a completely different flavor profile than maraschino, which is typically used in the Last Word, but I find it to have a similar level of sweetness and viscosity. I’ve only used falernum in rum based cocktails in the past, but it pairs surprisingly well with gin and even better with Green Chartreuse. Given the lime component in the Falernum and its spice driven nature, the Chartreuse pairing isn’t altogether surprising. Chartreuse is aggressively floral and herbaceous and benefits from a spark (like lime or lemon) to bring out its nuances.
To get this cocktail into harmony, I toyed around with the ratios and found that the juniper heavy gin really wanted to be the star so I doubled the original proportion. I put the falernum into an equal ratio with the non-sweet components of lime and Chartreuse. I finished the cocktail with Adam Elmegirab’s Dandelion and Burdock bitters, which are floral and earthy, with some spicy anise and ginger notes underneath. A lovely partner to both the Chartreuse and the Falernum. The final product is an infinitely complex cocktail with spicy, herbal undertones and a nice juniper smack in the front.
So, without further ado, here is the recipe. I really like this cocktail.
The Death of a Monk
2 oz Death’s Door Gin
1 oz Velvet Falernum
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
1 Dash Dr. Adam Elmegirab’s Dandelion and Burdock Bitters
Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin and shake to combine. Strain over new ice and garnish with a savory herb, such as tarragon, basil or sage.