Knight – David Embury

½ part Cointreau

½ part Green Chartreuse

2 parts Lemon Juice

8 parts Brandy

Shake with cracked ice

In the Knight the lemon juice can be omitted, the liqueurs slightly increased, and a few dashes of orange bitters to each cocktail used in place of the lemon juice.

In one of my first jobs in New Zealand in the 90’s, I worked for several years at a bar which used to go through bottles and bottles of Green Chartreuse each week, I think 7 was a record. All those beer drinking rugby watching kiwis quickly realised that, at 55% it was far and away the strongest thing behind the bar, and when consumed as a shot by an unsuspecting friend, provided hours of entertainment.

Initially made by monks in 1737, it’s flavoured by 130 different herbs and spices, put together as the ultimate Carthusian medicine of the time. Chartreuse is the only spirit or liqueur to have a colour named after it, and has popped up at a couple of interesting times in history. Jay Gatsby drinks it in his library with friends and first-class passengers had ‘peaches in Chartreuse Jelly’ before taking an untimely dip with the Titanic.

Chartreuse is odd. The green is very strong both in flavour and proof, which tends to overpower things, the above measurement is the perfect amount to add to a drink. It works a little like absinthe in this regard.  Aside from this, I know of only one drink, a ‘last word’ which uses it, and for this I use their 40% yellow variety (coloured with saffron) as it’s a little tamer.

OK, so the first time I made this I used Gin instead of Brandy, I think I was still a bit gin enthusiastic after Thursday. Going back and making this with Brandy / Cognac makes a far superior drink, the cognac really stands up against the chartreuse and provides a much greater depth of flavour than the gin, and is still light, so easy to drink pre-food.