Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Squid Mixes: Les Chroniques du Champs-Élysées

Now that we've sorted out our Manhattan preferences, it's time to move on to other cocktails.  We begin with The Champs-Élysées, a relatively recent discovery.  Ingredients: Cognac, Chartreuse, lemon juice, simple sugar syrup and lemon peel garnish.

To be honest, there's really only one ingredient worth battling over: the Chartreuse, green vs. yellow.  There's only one Cognac on Vermont shelves within my acceptable price range, i.e. under $30 for a 750 ml bottle: Salignac.  My wife is inclined to push the limit up a little but particularly in light of how expensive Chartreuse is, I feel one should be more frugal with the other ingredients.  If we start drinking Cognac straight, I might feel differently.  With lemons, I'm not likely to go beyond what we already have on hand.  With syrup, I could futz around more with making my own but I've found most of what I make gets tossed for lack of use.  The store-bought stuff tastes fine and is also more shelf stable.  So, the Chartreuse battle is really the only one we need...

Chartreuse Battle: Green vs. Yellow

As discussed in my previous post on the cocktail, there are substantive differences between green and yellow Chartreuse, beyond the color.  The green has a higher alcohol content at 110 proof.  The yellow is sweeter and weighs in at 80 proof.  Side by side in the drink, both are perfectly lovely.  The added sugar content of the yellow is definitely noticeable.  We both gave the green a slight edge because less sugar allows for a more complex flavor, truly the whole fun of Chartreuse to begin with.

Winner and Champion: Green Chartreuse

Here's our all-star lineup for The Champs-Élysées:

Solignac Cognac
Green Chartreuse
Stirrings Simple Syrup

Next up, sidecars!


  1. I have not done anything with yellow chartreuse yet. I don't know if I'll bother. It is on the pricy side, and my wife didn't love the green.
    Cognac is another alcohol I have never tried. We have some brandy around, but it has always been used for things like eggnog or cooking.

    1. I'm glad you tried it at least. It's just so different!

      I will confess, I'm not big on either brandy or cognac. They have their place but they're not nearly as interesting as whiskey. It's another reason I'm not keen to spend too much on them.

  2. My old man God rest his soul used to knock this stuff down every single week. The man had the constitution of a horse. I can tell whiskey makes some people twisted and others happy. Some folks just can't handle their liqueur and get smashed.

    1. I can't emphasize this enough: drink responsibly, folks!

  3. I had problems posting earlier... You're out of my league but I'm willing to buy your cocktail book when it comes out. You certainly know your drinks.

    1. Thank you. But I don't feel that way at all. There's still so much I don't know.