Once a month, we create a cocktail pairing board that underscores the flavors in one of our favorite drink recipes. For April, we developed a Chartreuse Fizz and teamed up with Lavender Cat Creative, to bring some spring energy to the project -- yes, this board is animated! Lavender Cat is run by the Philadelphia-based musical duo Gretchen Lohse and Thomas Hughes. Together, they score films and create stop-motion animation projects as part of their boutique business; they also perform as Carol Cleveland Sings and recently released the album Effervescent Lure. Back in the days of Vine, Gretchen and Thomas were a social media phenom with 1 million followers; since Vine disappeared, they have relaunched on Instagram (@CarolClevelandSings), which is how we met. Please check them out.
To Drink: A Chartreuse Fizz Cocktail
When we have spring fever, we always turn to Chartreuse, a great after-dinner sipper or cocktail ingredient. Its jewel-like tone buoys the spirit, and its herbaceous taste plants meadows in our frozen minds. Combined with citrus -- fresh lemon and the orange twinge of Cointreau -- Chartreuse turns bright and sweet. A splash of soda water gives it life. If you like tart, bright things, we know you will love sipping this drink on your porch or patio under the new blooming trees.
- 2 ounces Chartreuse
- 1/2 ounce Cointreau
- 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
- Soda water, to taste
- Lemon and mint, to garnish
Shake Chartreuse, Cointreau, and lemon over ice. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass -- with or without ice -- and add soda water. Garnish with a slice of lemon threaded with a tuft of mint.
To Pair: A Chartreuse Fizz Cheese Board
To pair snacks with a Chatreuse Fizz, emphasize herbs and honey -- two flavors in this cocktail. Because the drink is fizzy, it pairs well with rich accompaniments, like this little bloomy mixed-milk cheese from Wisconsin, called Martone, from LaClare Farms. If you can't find Martone, you can certainly substitute any goat cheese or cow's milk cheese with a downy round. Inside, Martone is oozy and mellow, a lovely cheese to drizzle with honey and a pinch of pistachios or fresh herbs.
- 1 bloomy-rinded cheese, preferably a goat cheese since its spring
- Light-colored honey
- Lavender buds
- Fresh thyme
- Raw pistachios (they're a little pink, very delicate in taste)
- Chocolate eggs (optional, but fun to hide under the grapes for a mini egg hunt)
- Fresh fruit, like grapes, apples, and lemons
- 2 cabbage leaves, to eat in place or bread or just for garnish
- 1 baguette
Before you set out this board, be sure to let your cheese "relax" for about 30 minutes so that it reaches temperature. Don't be afraid to mix and match flavors, try other honeys (or lemon curd!), and add other soft cheeses to the mix.
A glimpse at our last cocktail board: The Hanky Panky Snack Plate
A word about these projects: We love working with other people who inspire us, and we love discovering new products, from cocktail ingredients to kitchen items and glassware. If you'd like to connect, reach out to us: firstname.lastname@example.org.