Alaska Cocktail

By Robert Hess

Sometimes referred to as the Emerald Martini, the Alaska Cocktail represents Hendrick's Gin and Yellow Chartreuse equally well.

Recipe

Ingredients

1 1/2 oz Hendrick's Gin

3/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse

dash Orange Bitters

Instructions

Stir with ice.

Strain into a cocktail glass.

Garnish with a lemon twist.

Comments
Danny 16 Nov 2010
6:12 pm

Robert,

Where did you find that mixing glass?  I’ve been searching forever for something similar.
Great drink by the way.

Robert Hess 16 Nov 2010
8:28 pm

I got the mixing glass from www.CocktailKingdom.com. They are imported from Japan, here is a link: http://www.cocktailkingdom.com/content/yarai-mixing-glass
There is a lot of other great stuff there as well.

blair frodelius 17 Nov 2010
5:58 am

Robert,

Have you tried this using Chartreuse Green or Yellow VEP?  (even harder to find)

Blair
http://goodspiritsnews.wordpress.com

Robert Hess 17 Nov 2010
7:55 am

I haven’t tried VEP yet in this drink, but it cold work well. If anybody else tries it, please let us know what you think and how you may have modified the ratios to get it to balance properly.

For those of you not familiar with Chartreuse VEP (Vieillissement Exceptionnellement Prolong√©), it is essentially the same product as regular Chartreuse, just aged in oak barrels. This adds some extra character as well as some more nuanced complexities. It is hard to find as Blair mentions, and when you do find it, you’ll see that it costs about three times what regular Chartreuse does.

Robert Hess 17 Nov 2010
8:12 am

(and yes… that should be “could work well” :->)

8stringfan 4 Apr 2012
8:39 pm

Robert, just wondering why in this video, you change the ratio in this cocktail from the one you used in your book, The Essential Bartender’s Guide.  I do enjoy chartreuse, but I found the ratio you used in this video to be really unbalanced.  Flavor-wise, you may as well save the gin and just drink a glass of chilled yellow chartreuse.  The 2 oz. of gin to 1/4 oz. of chartreuse you use in your book makes a much better cocktail in my opinion.  It’s far more balanced, has more complexity, and actually allows the gin to come forward both after the initial sip and to develop on the finish.  Dialing back the chartreuse also opens up the fragrance, allowing the bitters to play a part rather than be overwhelmed by the strong aroma of the chartreuse.  Dialing back the chartreuse also makes it easier on your tongue, keeping the drinker from suffering palate fatigue.  I know that cocktails are quite often a “to each their own” type thing, but I am curious why you abandoned your old recipe for this one.

Robert Hess 5 Apr 2012
7:52 am

Alex, the recipe I am using in this video is trying to be truer to the original form of this drink, which is typically listed as 1/3 Yellow Chartreuse, 2/3 Gin, as it is in “ABC of Mixing Drinks” by Harry McElhone (~1920) - I’ll also note that there is no orange bitters in that version, but there is in “Waldorf Astoria Bar Days” by Albert Crocket Stevens (1930) which also lists the drink as 1/3 Yellow Chartreuse, and 2/3 Gin. The version in my book is based on the recipe I added to my site a long time ago, which is one I tweaked for balance. The Alaska is not a drink I honestly order very much (not often seeing Yellow Chartreuse at bars), so perhaps I should spend a little “quality time” with it and see what I feel a good balance is again here.

Question for the rest of you… have you found a preference for a particular ratio in this drink?

-Robert

8stringfan 5 Apr 2012
10:27 am

Robert, thanks for the feedback.  Yeah, the recipe featured here seems in line with what I’ve seen in most places except your book.  I actually think you tweaked it just right in there.  Like I said, the chartreuse heavy version that seems more in line with the older recipes is just really unbalanced and one-dimensional to my taste.  And I also agree, this is the kind of thing for a cocktail geek with a good home bar to play around with - you’re just not going to find many bars with yellow chartreuse.

Harold Wood 25 Jun 2013
1:17 am

Hi Robert,
Really enjoy your vids. I live on Guam, an absolute wasteland regarding spirits and most anything alcoholic.  My daughter was visiting from DC and brought me some things including green chartreuse. Could you suggest a way to use the green variety in place of the yellow?  I understand they have similar favors with the green being more intense and lower in alcohol - and yellow.

Again, thanks for the vids as well as the book, which is also great!

Harold Wood 25 Jun 2013
1:26 am

Clarification:
Green - more intense flavor and higher alcohol. And green.

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