DOTW: Can-Can

Posted by Anita on 08.24.07 7:02 AM

(c)2007 AEC  ** ALL rights reservedPassing time waiting for a table at Range, I noticed some of my favorite bottles clustered together along the bar: Chartreuse, St-Germain, and No. 209 gin.

“Are those all for the same drink?” I asked Brooke, the bartender.

“Yes they are — our nightly special.”

“Sold,” I said, closing the menu unread.

She set to muddling black peppercorns in a mixing glass along with some cantaloupe chunks. Ugh, I thought to myself, that looks nasty. No fan of the muskmelon, the mere idea of a cantaloupe cocktail made me gag.

And then she added the St-Germain and the Chartreuse to the muddled mixture, and I realized that was my drink in her hands. Oh god…

But really, I should have known better than to fret. The crew at Range, while adventurous, rarely steer me wrong. This drink was no exception. Somehow it all worked — the Chartreuse brings out the melon’s herbal overtones, and the St-Germain accentuates its floral notes. A splash of lemon juice keeps things in balance, and a good long shake opens it all up. The black pepper’s heat isn’t immediately apparent; it works like an internal garnish that becomes more obvious as the drink warms, a great counterpoint to the increasing sweetness as the chill fades.

Range christens its creation the Can-Can, a clever nod to the cantaloupe base, the two French liqueurs, and the pepper’s kick. We’ll just overlook the fact that there are at least two other cocktails with the same name — a surprising oversight from the upstanding mixological minds behind Range’s bar.

(c)2007 AEC ** ALL rights reserved(c)2007 AEC ** ALL rights reserved(c)2007 AEC  ** ALL rights reserved(c)2007 AEC  ** ALL rights reserved(c)2007 AEC  ** ALL rights reserved
Can-Can a la Range
3/4 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 cup cubes of ripe cantaloupe (4-5 chunks)
2 oz dry gin (Range alternates between Plymouth and No. 209)
1 tsp Chartreuse
1/2 oz St-Germain elderflower liqueur
juice of 1/2 lemon

In a heavy-bottomed pint glass, muddle the peppercorns with half the melon until cracked. Add the rest of the cantaloupe cubes and continue to muddle until juicy and soft. Add the remaining ingredients, then shake well and strain into a well-chilled cocktail glass.

Drink of the Week, drinks, recipes, restaurants



Comment by Doug Cress

I came across a comment of yours on one of my buddy Don’s (aka Cocktallian’s) photos on Filckr. Good to see the cocktail geniuses of this world making each other’s acquaintance.

Posted on 08.24.07 at 1:26PM

Comment by jen maiser

Hm. Ya. I trust you, but … this drink would not be my first choice ingredient combination. :)

Posted on 08.24.07 at 5:23PM

Comment by Anita

Doug: It’s a small (but very strong, and very well made) world.

Jen: Hey, I hate melon (well, except watermelon, that’d be downright unAmerican) and I really, really like this drink. Cameron backs me up. :D

Posted on 08.24.07 at 10:29PM

Comment by Chubbypanda

Pepper with melon is surprisingly tasty. I was shocked when I tried it.

Posted on 08.26.07 at 12:17AM

Comment by sam

I bought a galia melon yesterday (I think it is galia, not 100% sure). I might experiment with it in a cocktail. I have no charteuse, though I do have plently of st germain and some hendricks. Might try something with it along these lines. Loved LOVED your 7 layer thingy yesterday, my regret is I didn’t eat more, especially before I start a diet on Monday (you know – like i try to do ever monday).

Posted on 08.26.07 at 12:02PM

Comment by Anita

Panda: Did you try the drink, or some other melon-pepper combo?

Sam: I think the drink would be nice with a galia… even better, perhaps. the hendricks has a bit of a cucumber/melon flavor, so that might work, too. Let me know how it comes out.

Posted on 08.26.07 at 4:41PM

Comment by Tartelette

Can’t say I would have ran for this one but come to think of it, the flavors really seem to wrok together. I love Chartreuse,it is my cold remedy of choice.

Posted on 08.26.07 at 6:44PM

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Posted on 08.26.07 at 8:36PM

Comment by sam

I tried it (without chartreuse) and I wasn’t too impressed – maybe the chartreuse is really necessary. On the other hand I may have forgotten the lemon too. I am new to serious cocktail making so i need more practice

Posted on 08.28.07 at 4:58PM

Comment by Anita

Sam, I think without the chartreuse and the lemon that it would be pretty blah (and very sweet). We accidentally made it once without the lemon and it was a totally different drink.

Posted on 08.29.07 at 6:53AM

Comment by sam

I finally got to try the original can-can last night at Range and can attest it was far superior to my own attempt! thanks for the tip!

Posted on 09.11.07 at 4:21PM

Comment by Anita

Sam: whew, I’m relieved :)

Posted on 09.11.07 at 4:36PM

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