Tag Archives: Green Chartreuse cocktails

Drink of the Week: Duchess of Clynelish

Competing in a cocktail competition takes a lot of courage; winning one requires the right combination of showmanship, presentation, talent and playing to the judges’ taste preferences. I’ve judged a few over the years and I’m always blown away by the work that goes into each entry, and by the pressure on competitors.

One of the biggest competitions on the planet is World Class, hosted annually by Diageo, an alcohol brand conglomerate that owns spirit labels from Crown Royal to Johnnie Walker. Ewan Morgan, Diageo’s Master of Whisky, was in Calgary earlier this week for a whisky tasting at Milk Tiger Lounge and to walk aspiring World Class Canada competitors through the application process.

World-class whisky to accompany World Class Canada competition details.

World-class whisky to accompany World Class Canada competition details.

He brought along two World Class Canada winners: Shane Mulvany, a Toronto bartender who won in 2016, and Lauren Mote, a Vancouver bartender and the gal behind Bittered Sling bitters, who took home the top prize for Canada in 2015 (Canadian winners go on to compete in the global final).

I learned a few new things about whisky during the afternoon, but the highlight was getting to sample cocktails created by the World Class Canada winners. Mulvany poured his Masala Chai, a hot cocktail that combines Johnnie Walker Black with chai tea, milk, water and sugar.

And Mote shook up her Duchess of Clynelish (see recipe below, and note I did not get instructions for making the heather & rose syrup). As a fan of Chartreuse, both Yellow and Green, I am always looking for new ways to drink it, and had never tried it with whisky. I loved the play between the Green Chartreuse and ginger beer, and the tartness from the lemon juice, but I would either up the Johnnie Walker Gold amount, or decrease the Green Chartreuse, to help the whisky stand up better to the bossy herbal spirit.

Johnnie Walker meets Green Chartreuse in the Duchess of Clynelish cocktail.

Johnnie Walker meets Green Chartreuse in the Duchess of Clynelish cocktail.

Duchess of Clynelish

  • 1 oz Johnnie Walker Gold Label
  • 1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz heather & rose syrup
  • 2 dashes Western Haskap Bitters
  • Top with ginger beer
  • Garnish: dehydrated lemon wheel dipped in rose sugar

Method: Shake all ingredients, except for ginger beer, with ice. Strain over fresh ice in a Collins glass, and top with ginger beer. Garnish with a dehydrated lemon wheel dipped in rose sugar.

— Recipe courtesy Lauren Mote, World Class Canada Winner 2015

Keeping up with the Carthusians

I had my first taste of Green Chartreuse last summer in San Francisco, in a Chartreuse Swizzle cocktail served at the Clock Bar in The Westin by Union Square. Since then, I keep seeing Chartreuse on menus all over Calgary.

My husband was equally smitten with the herbaceous spirit, which is infused with 130 botanicals and made by Carthusian monks in France. He surprised me with a bottle but we had a problem — how to incorporate the distinct and savoury spirit into a cocktail. Enter The Google, which led me to a fantastic drink called Keeping up with the Carthusians.

This savoury drink with tequila and Green Chartreuse doesn't mess around.

This savoury drink with tequila and Green Chartreuse doesn’t mess around.

It combines Green Chartreuse with blanco tequila, lime and agave syrup. You end up with something kind of like a margarita, only one that’s more interesting thanks to the spicy and savoury flavours coming through from the Chartreuse. The green spirit also adds more booze (it’s 55 percent ABV)  so slow down and sip — this is not a drink for guzzling. If you do, you won’t keep up.

Finally, a cocktail for my new bottle of Green Chartreuse!

Finally, a cocktail for my new bottle of Green Chartreuse!

Keeping up with the Carthusians

  • 1-1/2 oz blanco tequila
  • Just under 1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
  • 3 drops white spice fennel bitters (I skipped this ingredient)
  • 1 oz cocktail-ready agave syrup (I used 1/2 oz)
  • 1/2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
  • Garnish: lime wheel and orange peel

Method: Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake, then strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a lime wheel and an orange peel (I used a mint sprig).

— Recipe by Adam Stemmler, Blind Tiger Cocktail Company

Drink of the Week: Chartreuse Swizzle

It seems ages ago that Blake and I visited San Francisco for a working (for me) holiday (for him) where we joined active tours by day and enjoyed delicious cocktails by night. Because I’m dreaming of another trip, and also because my Three Days in San Francisco story is coming right up in the April issue of WestJet Magazine, I decided to revisit the City by the Bay’s delicious drinks for this week’s post. (Ask any bartender what’s the top cocktail city in North America and it will likely be a toss up between New York and San Francisco.)

Forget the Golden Gate Bridge, let's talk about San Francisco's cocktails. Photo by Blake Ford.

Forget the Golden Gate Bridge, let’s talk about San Francisco’s cocktails. Photo by Blake Ford.


We started our initiation into the city’s cocktail culture on Avital Tours’ Union Square Cocktail Tour, which takes thirsty travellers to some great bars in the city centre. Guide Zev Keppleman kept us entertained while we learned about San Fran’s signature cocktail, the Pisco Punch, at Cantina, and sipped our way through a Sazerac at Tradition and a Chartreuse Swizzle at Clock Bar.

The Chartreuse Swizzle is a great introduction to Green Chartreuse, a liqueur made from a staggering 130 herbs and plants.

The Chartreuse Swizzle is a great introduction to Green Chartreuse, a liqueur made from 130 herbs and plants. Photo by Lisa Kadane.

On its own Green Chartreuse has a strong, assertive flavour that’s at first sip sweet, but then becomes spicy and pungent as it expands across the palate. It makes interesting cocktails, and I really liked it in the Chartreuse Swizzle. The Velvet Falernum added an exotic sweetness, the lime a hit of tart and the pineapple juice rounded it out nicely. Blake could’ve just sipped it straight.

Our trip carried on with more cocktail bars, including the famous Trick Dog (in itself deserving of a post…), but the Chartreuse Swizzle stayed with me as a great introduction to San Francisco’s cocktail scene.

Chartreuse Swizzle, Clock Bar at The Westin, San Francisco

  • 1.25 oz Green Chartreuse
  • 0.5 oz Velvet Falernum
  • 1 oz pineapple juice
  • 0.5 oz lime juice

Method: Shake, strain into a rocks glass filled with shaved ice, garnish with nutmeg and mint.

— Created by Marco Dionysos