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Cilantro Sour

If you’re like me, you can’t get enough herbal flavor when it comes to cocktails. I love anything with green chartreuse in it, but I feel like it’s a liqueur all too often reserved for winter or fall cocktails. The strong, complicated spirit has a nearly mythical background: produced by French monks with a highly protected secret recipe, only those who make it know the 130 plants and flowers used to create the signature flavor and color. (Fun fact: Chartreuse the color was named for the liqueur!)

So this month I decided to combine some of my favorite things — green chartreuse, cilantro and whiskey sours — to create a green chartreuse-based summer drink. I started by making a cilantro simple syrup. Here’s how:

Cilantro Simple Syrup


½ cup sugar

½ cup water

1 handful cilantro leaves  

Combine sugar and water, stir until sugar is dissolved

Add cilantro and allow to sit overnight

Strain and stir

Store in sealed container in the refrigerator

I like to do a cold infusion for cilantro syrups because when the simple syrup is warm, it will cook the cilantro and alter the flavor, making it taste more candied than I like.

Cilantro Sour

1 ½ ounces green chartreuse 

1 ounce cilantro simple syrup

½ ounce lime juice

½ ounce lemon juice

Shake and pour into rocks glass

Express three cilantro sprigs by slapping them 

Garnish with cilantro sprigs

This drink is going to hit you on the nose with that gorgeous cilantro you just expressed. It’s going to be green and summery – like a fresh salad! At first sip, you’ll get the herbal warmth of the green chartreuse, followed by the sour notes you know from a Whiskey Sour. The cilantro will end up being a subtle flavor in this drink, complementing the already present summery herbal notes of the green chartreuse.

So here’s to enjoying green chartreuse, no matter the weather! Cheers!