*Recent ruminations from LUPEC Boston, as originally published in The Weekly Dig.
by Pink Lady
Though it won’t technically be fall for another week, we’ve already begun to seek stronger, spicier cocktails made with dark spirits for September sipping. One of our favorite potations among these is the bewitching blend of applejack, Yellow Chartreuse and Benedictine, called “The Widow’s Kiss.”
Invented by George J. Kappeler while he was head bartender at the Holland House hotel in New York City, The Widow’s Kiss combines the storied herbal liqueurs, Chartreuse and Benedictine, with applejack, likely America’s oldest distilled spirit. Both Chartreuse and Benedictine trace their origins to monastic orders in France (the former in the French Alps, the latter in Normandy) and both are made from closely guarded proprietary recipes that were nearly lost during the French Revolution. Perhaps you’ve overlooked the Chartreuse and Benedictine bottles on the back bar in favor of more aggressively marketed sweeteners, but these august brands have been produced for over 400 and 500 years, respectively. They’ve outlasted many a drinking fad, and many more enthusiastic drinkers.
The Widow’s Kiss was such a hit during Kappeler’s reign at the Holland House, it made it into all the major cocktail books, including his 1895 volume, Modern American Drinks. It also exemplifies a trend that began around the 1880s of American mixologists reaching beyond the maraschino, curaçao and crème de noyaux bottles for complex herbal liqueurs to build new palates of flavors as they created innovative recipes. That tradition lives on in a new generation of American bartenders today.
We’ll drink to that.
THE WIDOW’S KISS
1.5 oz applejack
0.75 oz Yellow Chartreuse
0.75 oz Benedictine
2 dashes angostura bitters
Shake in an iced cocktail shaker, as you recklessly break the cardinal rule of stirring cocktails that contain nothing but booze; strain into a chilled cocktail glass.