What many people don’t know about Chartreuse is that the Carthusian monks have made it since 1737. (Yes, you read that right.) Named after the monks’ Grande Chartreuse monastery, located in the Chartreuse Mountains, the French herbal liqueur is made from more than 100 herbs and other plants — precisely the flavor profile one Southold bar manager was looking for when developing a new cocktail.
“When I looked through our liquor cellar for what I could use in our next specialty cocktail and came across the bottle of Chartreuse, I was immediately transported to the [Grande Chartreuse monastery] and came up with the name The Monk’s Elixir,” says Helen Cruz, bar manager at Southold Social, a Southold-situated restaurant developed by François Payard, a third-generation French pastry chef. “We design our cocktails based on a lot of factors, including that we want to have a spectrum of liquor bases on our list, a spectrum of glassware, and a spectrum of color. This was going to be a vodka-based drink served in a martini glass, but we wanted it to be more herbaceous than floral.”
The cocktail’s ingredients include vodka, Chartreuse, lemon, simple syrup, and cranberry juice.
“This drink is light and herbaceous, with a balance of sweetness and acidity,” she tells guests.
To make The Monk’s Elixir, start by chilling a martini glass. Then pour the vodka and Chartreuse, and add a dash of lemon, simple syrup, and cranberry juice over ice. Shake vigorously and strain into the glass. Garnish with a wide-ribbon lemon twist.
“Unlike many specialty cocktails which tend to be quite sweet, The Monk’s Elixir is pleasing to most audiences due to its neutrality and well-balanced tastes,” says Cruz.
Southold Social is located at 56125 Main Rd., Southold. It can be reached at southoldsocial.com or 631-765-8888.