When I think of medicinal elixirs that have made their way into the cocktail bar, I shouldn’t look further than the ancient liqueur known as Chartreuse. This compelling and intoxicating liquor actually has a color named for it, chartreuse— a particularly vivid shade of green.
Most cocktail bars stock at least one kind of Chartreuse, usually the green. It also comes in a less potent yellow version, and several other varieties like the rare VEP, which is nearly impossible to find in the USA. Good luck!
This diminutive hand-held grenade of a cocktail has only a couple of ingredients, but what it lacks in size, each sip more than makes up in the deep potency coursing through your body.
First of all, purchase a 750ml bottle of Chartreuse. It should be infused with one ounce of the finest cannabis flowers that your money can buy. This is pretty easy to do. Find a bartender or a teenager, they can get you some of what you need.
One of the easiest methods for infusion is to decarb the cannabis flower for about an hour in a 240 degree oven, well-covered in foil. Let cool and use in your infusion. It’s going to stink up your house with the scent of weed, and it might not come out perfectly. Many people are stead-fast on the old-fashioned oven method— “it’s how I learned”, they will complain. There are far better ways to decarb.
Instead of utilizing an uncalibrated oven, might I recommend using a tech-based device known as the Ardent for this task? Your decarbs will be far more accurate, with no chance of burning your expensive flowers to a cinder. It’s probably a good idea to use this method. There are other techniques available to decarb your flower, and I could wax poetic for hours about all the ways this can be done. Find the method that you like best and perfect it. The Ardent machine is truly plug and play.
The infusion part is pretty simple as well. I take an ISI whipped cream maker and fill it with 1 ounce of decarbed flower. Add about a cup of your favorite spirit-like Chartreuse, and then charge with two rounds of nitrous oxide gas as if you are making whipped cream. Shake well and then vent. Do not inhale this gas; it probably isn’t good for you, even if you enjoy sipping laughing gas at the dentist’s office.
This high pressure method forces the molecule of THC into that of the liquor. To further activate the THC, you place the entire closed ISI vessel in a double boiler on an electric hot plate— never a gas stove, it’s dangerous. Set to 160 degrees for about an hour, venting the gas off as necessary. Let cool, open carefully, then strain through a section of cheesecloth, and then again through a fine sieve. Use this deeply heady, THC-infused Chartreuse in your fine elixir such as the Chartreuse Curative.
RECIPE: Chartreuse Curative
3 ounces of THC infused Chartreuse
1 ounce of Dry Vermouth— I suggest throwing that primordial, grease-crusted bottle of Vermouth away, you know that one lurking on top of the fridge, yeah... the one without a cap, that one. Get a small bottle of French Dolin Vermouth at your favorite fine wine store. It’s more than enough for a year’s worth of Martinis and the like. You don’t need much! And keep it in the fridge, treat it like wine.
1 egg white— no shells!
2-3 saffron threads
Add the egg white to a Boston Shaker that is empty, no ice (this is called a Dry Shake) and shake hard for several dozen shakes.
Add fresh bar ice to the Boston Shaker (that is ice that doesn’t taste like garlic or bad milk... there is nothing worse...).
Add the infused Chartreuse and the Dry Vermouth into the ice-filled Boston Shaker. Cap and Shake hard for fifteen seconds.
Strain into a coupe’ glass.
A lovely foam will rise to the top of the vivid green cocktail.
Scatter some threads of saffron on top of each cocktail.
Medicinal Uses of Saffron:
Chartreuse has saffron to thank for its trademark bright-yellow hue. Derived from the crocus flower, this precious spice has long been praised for its healing qualities. It’s reputed to be an antiseptic, antidepressant, antioxidant, a digestive aid, and an anticonvulsant restorative. It is used in Ayurvedic preparations, and both Asian and Mediterranean cooking. It is also used in the production of herbal liqueurs like Chartreuse, which French imbibers enjoy as an after-dinner drink. We all know the price of saffron is costly, so use it sparsely. It’s more than enough to use a thread or two for this cocktail, or for cooking a steaming tangle of pan Asian-style, rice pilaf with slivers of toasted almonds and dates.