Over Under Sideways Down
2 oz Blanco Tequils [Lunazul]
1 oz Green Chartreuse
Few Dashes Black Cloud Garden Party Bitters (celery bitters would work too)
Combine ingredients in glass, stir with ice. Strain into an ice filled cocktail glass. Garnish with lime twist (or lemon in this case, since I didn’t have any lime).
The nice thing about making drinks at home is you can do whatever the hell you want. It’s not like you have an unhappy customer on your hands if it doesn’t work out. You only have yourself to blame. And really, that just means you get to tweak things in the next drink. It’s a liberating feeling, and it’s one of my favorite parts of home cocktailing. Throw stuff at the wall (or in the glass, as it were) and see what sticks.
On the surface, this week’s drink is pretty simple. Start with a classic Manhattan formula. Two spirits, 2:1 ratio base spirit to liqueur, and some bitters. I’ve mentioned the endlessly customizable nature of this template before, but most of the time I stick to a whiskey base and get creative with the vermouths and liqueurs and what not.
When I came up with this drink, I went a totally different direction. That 2:1 ratio remained sacred, but let’s see what weird spirits we can pair within it. After a quick scan of the bar, I grabbed a bottle of blanco tequila and some Green Chartreuse. I’m sure there are more cocktails with this combo out there, but the only one that immediately jumps to mind is the Tequila Last Word (though admittedly I prefer the Mezcal version of agave themed Last Words). These are strange bedfellows indeed.
My thought was the slightly vegetal nature of agave would get along with the herbs and floral notes in the Chartreuse. And why stop the weirdness at the booze? This drink still needed some bitters (it started life as a Manhattan variation, after all). The first time I made it I used celery bitters. They have a savory quality that could run with the other big flavors in the glass. This time around I’m using Black Cloud Bitters Garden Party bitters. They possess a similar savory quality, but have even more herbaceousness to compliment the Green Chartreuse.
One whiff of the Over Under Sideways Down, and you know it means business. Herbs, some mint, and a touch of smoke from the tequila. There is some interesting booze math that happens with these spirits and bitters, and the sum of the parts is enjoyably unique. On the sip, both spirits and the bitters contribute their own unique spiciness. Some of that probably comes from the alcohol burn too, as this quite the stiff drink. The Green Chartreuse helps to keep everything nice and cool though, as it rides the agave notes down on the swallow.
The name comes from the title of a Yardbirds song, and it felt appropriate given that I started with one of the most classic recipes and flipped it around. Plus, after a few of these, your world may start to go over, under, sideways, down too.