Friday, June 4, 2010

silent order

2 oz Green Chartreuse
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Water
7-10 Sweet Basil Leaves

Shake with ice and double strain into a cocktail glass.

On Sunday night, we went down to see Ben Sandrof as he hosted another Sunday Salon (now every two weeks with the next one on the 13th). I finally had one of Andrea's all time favorite drinks -- the Silent Order. The drink name refers to the Carthusian monks who make Chartreuse and live a very quiet, contemplative life. The herbal notes in the Chartreuse are bolstered by basil leaf oils; Ben warned not to muddle the basil for it will extract too much bitter chlorophyll into the drink whereas bruising the leaves through shaking with ice will release only the oils. The shaking will macerate the leaves somewhat, but the end result should not be pulpy. The most unique part of the recipe is not the addition of basil or the balancing with lime, but the addition of water. True, most drinks are diluted with water but only due to the shaking, stirring, or being built on ice parts (not counting the water in ingredients such as simple syrup). Here and in the Alamagoozalum, water is specified as an ingredient. Ben's rationale for its inclusion was to mellow the acid in the lime and to cut the sugar in the Chartreuse in order to balance the drink. While he did not mention it, it might also serve to soften the 110 proof heat of the green Chartreuse.
The Silent Order's nose was a combination of the Chartreuse and the sweet basil aromas. Basil and lime flavors appeared at the beginning of the sip with Chartreuse on the swallow. The simplicity of that description does not do justice to how amazing this drink tasted and how well the flavors balanced each other. Perhaps fewer words and more contemplation are in order here.


HayBoy said...

is it true you order this by just nodding? i dont want to look silly.

frederic said...

If it's on the menu, you can get away with just pointing as well. Just as tasty either way.

Ryan said...

Just made one at home and it was delicious! To be more accurate, I made a variation of a silent order crossed with a rubicon by flaming the chartreuse in a glass with basil for a few seconds before pouring the lime juice and water on top and shaking.

Noah said...

FYI, we tried to go last night (the 13th) and the back room was hosting a wedding reception, or something. No sign of Ben. I hope that's not the end of this experiment.

frederic said...

We tried and failed too last night. Perhaps it was just a miscommunication in schedules. We didn't go in to investigate after we found the door was locked and then peeped through the window.