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Where to get it: Bank Café & Bar, Napa, Calif.
Creator: Cornelia Mathis
Ingredients: St. George Gin, green Chartreuse, housemade fennel liquor, housemade honeydew syrup, lime, basil oil
Trend: Chartreuse as hot ingredient
Cornelia Mathis, general manager of Bank Café & Bar in Napa, Calif., visited the Chartreuse distillery in France, where the herbaceous liqueur is still made by Carthusian Monks using a recipe that dates back to 1605.
Mathis said she was “thoroughly impressed” by the method used to create what was once nicknamed “the elixir of long life,” which is flavored by close to 150 herbs and ingredients blended, infused and macerated. The tonic has become a hot ingredient in the bar world, in both its naturally green or yellow form, offering a welcome respite from a sea of pink drinks.
Mathis said she was looking for something different that would take guests out of the rut of vodka cocktails. “So when we got back we started thinking about the flavor profiles that lend itself to green Chartreuse,” she said.
The result was the Meloncholy Baby. The misspelling is deliberate as this cocktail relies on house-made honeydew syrup to lightly sweeten the St. George gin, green Chartreuse and house-made fennel liqueur, with a splash of lime and dots of basil oil floated on the surface.
“It’s very herbaceous. There’s a sweetness because there is a lot of sugar in Chartreuse, both green and yellow, but also 150 different herbs that complemented the melon and basil oil.”