As you’ve probably noticed, I’m a sucker for any drink made with green Chartreuse. But I hadn’t found many cocktails that used the yellow version to good effect until Murray made me an Amber Dream during our most recent visit. This one’s a definite keeper; the gin and the vermouth counter the liqueur’s abundant sweetness.
As I sipped my Amber Dream, our friend Jason appeared beside me, grinning at his cleverness in having tracked us down. It dawned on me almost immediately that Jason’s wife is named Amber. Strange coincidence, no?
Jason and Amber welcomed their first baby Tuesday night, so now the drink is doubly apt: With little Cooper’s arrival, I’d guess there won’t be a lot of dreaming for Amber — or Zig Zag cocktails for Jason — for a while.
A number of recipes call for the drink to be garnished with a flamed orange peel, but just as many leave the cocktail ungarnished. And there seems to be some difference of opinion regarding the bitters, whether aromatic or orange are preferred. (If you prefer a garnish-free version, the orange bitters seem like a smarter accent, in order to keep at least some of the citrus tones in place.) Some recipes call explicitly for French sweet vermouth, and still others favor an Old Fashioned glass — and rocks — to the standard v-stem/up configuration.
Needless to say, there’s plenty of room here for tinkering. Try out a couple of variations, and raise a toast to the littlest foodie in our circle and his proud parents.
1-1/2 oz dry gin
3/4 oz sweet vermouth
1/4 oz yellow Chartreuse
1 dash orange or aromatic bitters
Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with a flamed orange peel, if desired.