The Last Word is a classic gin cocktail that hails from Detroit and was first served around 1915. The Sazerac is a classic whiskey cocktail that hails from New Orleans and was first stirred to life in the 1800s. And the Bonpland is a modern play on both.
The Bonpland comes from Jules Elkovich, a sommelier at Michael Jordan’s Steak House at Mohegan Sun Casino & Resort in Uncasville, Connecticut. The drink is an homage to Aimé Bonpland, the French botanist who explored Mexico between 1799 and 1805 with Alexander von Humboldt and who created the country’s first maps.
“Most people feel that Green Chartreuse is too harsh, too astringent, too medicinal,” says Elkovich. That’s usually because they were given a shot at room temperature, which can exacerbate the boozy liqueur’s alcohol content and botanical punch. “Hiding behind that signature licorice bite is a backbone of green pepper, baking spices, rosemary and lavender,” she says. When it’s chilled with ice and stirred or shaken with other ingredients, the liqueur’s sharp notes evolve into citrus and fresh garden herbs all while keeping that peppery structure.
The Bonpland takes the green Chartreuse and lime juice traits of the Last Word and merges them with the sugar cube and rinsed glass of the Sazerac to create a unique cocktail that highlights the best of both drinks.
“Reposado tequila has the perfect marriage of spice, baking spice, green grass and fresh herbaceous notes that play so well with green Chartreuse,” she says. “And the name seemed an appropriate hat tip to the marriage of Mexican and French influences.”
- 1 barspoon green Chartreuse
- 2 ounces Clase Azul reposado tequila
- 1/2 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 sugar cube
- 3 dashes Bittermens Xocolatl mole bitters
- Garnish: lime twist
Rinse a coupe glass with the green Chartreuse, discard the excess (or retain in the glass, if desired), and set the glass aside.
Add the tequila, bitters, lime juice and sugar cube into a mixing glass.
Muddle the sugar cube until it dissolves, then add ice and stir until well-chilled.
Strain into the prepared glass.
Garnish with a lime twist.