This cocktail, first created in the late 19th century, involves two French liquors with romantic, and mysterious, company stories. Benedictine is believed to be the world's oldest liqueur, dating to 1510. Made from brandy or cognac and a secret infusion of herbs, the recipe is closely guarded at the Benedictine abbey in Fecamp, Normandy. Chartreuse is made in the Alpine town of Voiron, at a monastery called La Grande Chartreuse. There is little chance its secret recipe will ever be revealed. The only two Carthusian monks who know it have taken a vow of silence.
Jason Wilson has adapted this version of the recipe, with a fresh strawberry, from House & Garden's Drink Guide (Simon & Shuster, 1973). Be sure to use yellow (not green) Chartreuse.
- 1 1/2 ounces Calvados or applejack
- 3/4 ounce Benedictine liqueur
- 3/4 ounce yellow Chartreuse liqueur
- Dash Angostura bitters
- 1 strawberry, for garnish
Fill a cocktail shaker two-thirds full with ice and add the apple brandy and liqueurs. Shake vigorously, then strain into a chilled martini glass. Drop in the strawberry and serve.
From Spirits columnist Jason Wilson.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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