I’m normally not much of an innovator. When mixing drinks, I much prefer going through some of my old (and new) bartending manuals, and picking out recipes that sound intriguing. But on occasion, my desire for a particular kind of drink can’t be satisfied by any recipe I know of, so I’m either left to just forget about it, or start messing around in the liquor cabinet. I not-so-recently had one of those nights.
The challenge started with finding a decent drink–or any drink, for that matter–that calls for limoncello. You see, a few months back there was a big discussion going on over at eGullet’s Fine Spirits & Cocktails Forum about making limoncello, and I wound up putting together a batch.
Limoncello is lovely stuff to have around the house, for sipping after dinner right out of the freezer. But I can’t leave things alone, so I started looking around for a cocktail that called for it as an ingredient. Results? ZERO (if you ignore its occasional use in a vodka-based Lemon Drop, which I do). So I started playing around, and to my great surprise, I stumbled across something worth making more than once. Because of the delay it took me to post it on this site (I actually came up with it a month or so back, and waited several weeks after putting it on eGullet to put it here), I’m calling it the Procrastination Cocktail.
- 2 ounces gin (I use Bombay–regular, not Sapphire)
- 3/4 ounce dry vermouth (Noilly Prat)
- 3/4 ounce limoncello (homemade)
- dash green Chartreuse
Stir with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass; garnish with lemon peel.
I was really surprised by this–between the gin, vermouth & chartreuse, there are a lot of herbal flavors going on in the glass, but the limoncello brings its bright, fresh lemonyness into the mix and makes everyone get along just dandy. The drink is nice without the chartreuse, too, but just a few drops of this liqueur really makes the flavor and aroma blossom, as if you’d thrown a bouquet of flowers into the mixing glass.
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Our good friend Dr. Cocktail created a lovely drink which employs Limoncello, and named it after the famous children’s author. Incidentally, in his day job identity as Ted Haigh, graphic designer extraordinare for cinema, he was also the designer on the film “A Series of Unfortunate Events”, based on the works of the cocktail’s namesake.
This drink, however, is not for children and will, in fact, kick you rather squarely (but not unpleasantly) in your hindquarters.
The Lemony Snicket Cocktail
2-1/2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/2 ounce limoncello
1/2 ounce yellow Chartreuse
Shake and strain; garnish with a stemless cherry.
Gave this a try tonight, only using Lillet Blanc instead of the vermouth. A lovely variation, but then I’m very partial to Lillet Blanc. I may up the Chartreuse next time, as I can hardly taste with the few drops I put in. I do sense it helps round out the drink.