Restaurant: The Whistler, Chicago
Creators: Billy Helmkamp, Rob Brenner, Eric Henry
Inspiration: “To create a unique play on the chartreuse swizzle.”
Key Ingredients: Green Chartreuse, verdita, falernum, lime juice.
What the Judges Said: Chartreuse made a big appearance in this year’s contest, showing up in dozens of cocktails. This was one of the best uses of the herbal digestive. But what made this cocktail a winner was the surprising use of verdita, a Mexican shot designed to be thrown back before a shot of tequila. Verdita (a blend of cilantro, mint, jalapenos, lime and pineapple juice) provided a nice counterbalance to the Chartreuse, with a little help from the falernum (a rum-based cordial from Barbados that includes lime, ginger, cloves and almonds). Yes, it looks like something Kermit the Frog would drink, but it’s one tasty sweet and spicy cocktail.