Green Chartreuse is absolutely one of the world’s pleasures. You can disagree, but if you are reading this and you haven’t had personal experience with this ingredient you just don’t understand. Having said that, we recognize it’s one of the pricier liqueurs you can buy. There is also a Yellow variety and it too is delicious, but it has a different flavor profile. For this drink you need the green. There is arguably no substitute for Chartreuse with maybe one exception: Ver by Elixir Craft Spirits here in Oregon is a very close rendition.
We like to sip Chartreuse neat, so we often save our best bottles for that purpose, and while there are several very good cocktails that call for it (the amazing Last Word quickly comes to mind), one of the best ways drink your prized bottle is to make Chartreuse Swizzles. It’s a cocktail we covered years ago and we love it. Recently, however, we saw Zach Zoschke’s YouTube video about the Green Cross Swizzle. We will be making this version from now on.
Green Cross Swizzle
.75 oz Green Chartreuse
.75 oz Smith & Cross dark Jamaican rum
.75 oz lime juice
1 oz pineapple juice
.5 oz falernum
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Add all but the bitters to a tall glass and cover with crushed ice. Swizzle to incorporate the ice, mixing to rapidly chill. Add more ice as needed, then dash the Angostura over the top. Swizzle the top section to create a reddish layer. Top with more crushed ice and garnish with a sprig of mint.
Zach gives no attribution for this recipe, but the name obviously comes from the base ingredients. We have long been enjoying the Chartreuse Swizzle with the addition of Wray & Nephew overproof, but Smith & Cross adds more depth and character. You could use another Jamaican and still have a delicious swizzle, but the whole point was to use its namesake rum. We also used homemade falernum which has never done us wrong. It’s easy to make, but if you can’t be bothered, use Velvet Falernum. We do miss the fresh nutmeg from the original, but the Angostura makes up for that. One mistake we did make was selecting a big straw. A narrow sipper might have helped—we drank this way too fast!