3/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse
3/4 oz Orchard Syrup (recipe)
1 dash Fee's Whiskey Barrel Bitters
Shake with ice and strain into a champagne flute. Top with Champagne (~ 2 oz) and garnish the inside of the glass with a long red apple peel (6 inches or so, Crusta/Horse's Neck style).
A weeks ago while reading my RSS feed, I spotted Embury Cocktails' contest for a drink inspired by the Fantastic Mr. Fox movie. The contest gave pointers for ingredients and plot moments, and along with some movie summaries and Wikipedia, I started to brainstorm. One part of the movie that grabbed me as rather dark is that Mr. Fox gets his tail shot off during one his raids and he later returns to fetch it, except he learns that the farmer, Mr. Bean, has taken to wearing it as a necktie. I thought that it was too morbid to name the drink after until a google search alerted me that Mr. Fox tail neckties were given away as promotion for the movie. Alas, not too dark for a movie based on Roald Dahl's work.
Next came the drink idea. The contest gave some suggestions about apples, champagne, fox-colored, and the like, which got me thinking. Earlier that day, I had read a post from Erik Ellestad that mentioned orchard syrup -- an ingredient that I saw a few days before in Harry Johnson's Bartenders' Manual. Orchard syrup was surmised to be an apple syrup made from boiling down cider into a honey-like consistency. With the apple part of the recipe in place, the Woxum from the Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book popped into my head of how apple flavors paired up rather well with yellow Chartreuse. The addition of some whiskey and bitters helped to solidify the base for a champagne cocktail concept. And to lock in the fox-like imagery part, I thought that a strip of red apple peel reminded me of a fox tail.
My tasting notes say that I made ours with Eagle Rare 10 Year Bourbon and Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs. The nose had elements of the five spice powder which was used to flavor the orchard syrup. The sip was full of apple notes with nice crispness from the sparkling wine's bubbles; lastly, the yellow Chartreuse sung out on the swallow. After tasting the drink, I knew my recipe was ready to submit to the contest.