Jewelry is a girl's best friend. If that isn't true anymore I apologize. I know fancy, shiny things still make me happy, if only for a moment. Just like alcohol, the buzz from buying, only lasts a little while which makes you want to keep doing it. If you can't afford the fancy rings and shiny things all the time then maybe you should try drinking the Bijou. A cocktail named after the colors of jewels associated with the spirits inside of it. Drink this colorful creation and you are sure to get that buzz, drink too many and the buzz might last too long.
Inside this cocktail you will find Gin, Sweet Vermouth and Green Chartreuse. The Gin represents the diamond, the strongest gem and also highest alcohol content of the trio. Sweet vermouth is a deep red which associates strongly with the deep red of the ruby. Finally the Green Chartreuse represents the emerald, both of which are beautiful as they are strong.
This wonderful creation was around in the late 1800s becoming so popular that it earned a spot in Harry Johnson's New and Improved Bartenders' Manual published in 1900. The popularity of this drink was at a height before prohibition but the loss of so many popular spirits in America during that time made Vermouth and Chartreuse much more rare. It wasn't until 1980 when Dale Degroff dusted this one off the shelves and brought it back to popularity.
Like many recipes, the Bijou has gone through some tweaks and some may say improvements. I like most the variations I've tried but I'll give you two recipes that you can try at home and determine what works best for you.
1 part Gin
1 part Sweet Vermouth (Carpano Antica or Punt E Mes)
1 part Green Chartreuse
1 dash orange Bitters
1.25 oz Gin
.75 oz Sweet Vermouth
.66 oz Green Chartreuse
1 dash orange bitters
Stir all ingredients to get desired dilution. Garnish with cherry or orange twist.
They are slight differences but for a cocktail this size the outcome is quite noticeable.
If your home bar already has these ingredients then I promise they would go to good use on this cocktail. If you do not have these bottles then I highly suggest investing in them, the Chartreuse and Vermouth are a bit more expensive but there are a ton of different cocktails you can make just by having these around your home bar. Stir this one up and pick out your favorite drinking vessel and sip slowly and enjoy the art in front of your eyes.
Just like the alcohol content of this drink, the flavor profile is strong. Your palette is going to be experiencing a lot of sweet, bitter, citrus, herbal and funky sensations. Drink with caution and at the end of meal either as dessert or with dessert. Enjoy responsibly and share with friends!
For more recipes and fun content check out @myshiftdrink on IG or myshiftdrink.com for apparel.
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Maggie Kimberl is one of the most respected and prolific writers in American whiskey, and her journey into the bourbon industry is one-of-a-kind.
Colin Spoelman transitioned from amateur moonshiner into full-time distiller in 2010 to start King County Distillery, Brooklyn's oldest bourbon distillery.
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