The Smoke Show cocktail balances a bright, fresh profile with warming finishes. The combination of earthy mezcal with amaro, herbal liqueur, lemon and cinnamon manages to deftly dance across multiple dimensions of flavor. It was created by beverage director and sommelier Liz Martinez when she was working at The Purple Pig in Chicago.
Here, a mezcal base integrates with Cynar and green Chartreuse, two herbal powerhouses. The mezcal brings earth and smoke, while Cynar—a low-proof digestivo made from 13 herbs and plants, most prominently artichokes—lends a bittersweet accent. Green Chartreuse amplifies the flavor (and the booze). It’s made with 130 herbs, plants and flowers and clocks in at 110 proof. Lemon juice and simple syrup provide balance, while egg white gives the cocktail a silky mouthfeel and extra weight.
The Smoke Show is complex, nuanced and surprisingly balanced, finding equilibrium among its smoky base spirit, flavorful liqueurs and tart citrus. Grate a little cinnamon on top for additional aromatics, and enlist this drink to see what mezcal can do alongside unexpected companions.
2 ounces mezcal
1/4 ounce Cynar
1/4 ounce Green Chartreuse
1/2 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 ounce simple syrup
1 egg white
Garnish: cinnamon, freshly grated
Add the mezcal, Cynar, Green Chartreuse, lemon juice, simple syrup and egg white into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Strain into a coupe glass, and garnish with freshly grated cinnamon.
What Can I Use In Place of Green Chartreuse
Given it's secret recipe and monastic history, there are few (if any) spirits that can completely compare to, or replace, Green Chartreuse. However, given intermittent supply shortages affecting the availability of the spirit, sometimes you may need to find another bottle in a pinch.
Dolin Génépy is a similar French herbal liqueur that can often stand in for Green Chartreuse in certain cocktails. Benedictine D.O.M. is another historic herbal option, one that will contribute more pronounced honeyed notes to you drink. Other newer, upstart brands, like Ver in Eugene, Oregon, are attempting their own takes on the storied green liqueur.
Raw Egg Warning
Consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.