Not for the faint of heart, Neptune’s Wrath is an exceptional (I don’t use that word often), sophisticated cocktail that will send you to the moon. I love making this cocktail as it’s a blast to make and a pleasure to drink. But before we continue lets take a quick look at the backstory.
One night I was closing down the bar chatting with some stragglers as they slowly finished their drinks. From where they were sitting at the bar they were positioned just so that they were staring head on into rows of odd shaped bottles with even stranger names.
The man, who was two and a half sheets to the wind, inquired of me as to the mysterious contents stored within. If memory serves me right the exact question was;
“what’s all this S#!t?”
And so I began a lengthy excerisise in futility; discussing the nuanced minutia of liqueurs from around the globe with a man who was now, definitely, a full three sheets gone.
We got through Benedicitine, Frangelico, and Campari without incident – all have a distinct flavor association that is easy enough to name. And then we came to Chartreuse… and we hit the breaks.
I love Chartreuse but that night I struggled to find the right words to describe the glowing green liquid. I did my best (which wasn’t very good) and was relieved when the man seemed to be losing interest. And then he asked me a question that would haunt me for the rest of the night – “what do you make with it?”
I paused and thought. And some more. But nothing. I couldn’t think of a single drink that we make that actually calls for Chartreuse. The man left and with that I was alone with my thoughts. What the heck uses Chartreuse? Still nothing.
When I got home that night I hit up all my regular recipe sites and was super bummed when every drink I ran across was either some “spooky” halloween drink or sounded just plain awful. It got late and I called off my search for the night. Tomorrow is another day.
Next day I was working at the kitchen table when I heard the familiar squeak of the mailbox closing. Springing up from my chair I dashed to the front door to collect my much anticipated package; I already knew what it was.
A week prior I had ordered the PDT cocktail book and it had finally arrived. I tore the package open and thumbed through the pages. Its an unbelievable repository of masterfully crafted cocktails and whimsical illustrations to match. I was delighted and spent the next few hours reading a recipe book like a novel. Nerdy I know.
Buried somewhere between the pages is where I came across PDT’s version of Neptune’s Wrath. They had another name for it but did the original creator appropriate credit. I was curious. New name, new recipe – what did they change? And that led me to wegottaeat where found the original recipe that I (modified and) use to this day.
Neptune’s Wrath is a complex cocktail and probably not something you’re going to want to recommend to folks who default to vodka sodas. It is an amazing experience though. The sights, sounds and smells of this cocktail are sure to impress.
Don’t Play With Fire… except sometimes.
This cocktail requires that you light alcohol on fire and no it’s not just for show (although it does help) either. Please be careful especially when pouring the lit Chartreuse into your coupe glass. Don’t burn the house down kids.
If You decide to Make Neptune’s Wrath (and I hope you do) Tell Me What You Think.
- 1/2 oz egg white
- 1 1/2 oz gin
- 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 absinthe
- 2 Tbs. simple syrup
- 1/4 ounce green Chartreuse, lit
- Add all ingredients except Chartreuse into a shaker.
- Dry shake until the egg is fully emulsified
- Add clear ice cubes and shake to chill
- Strain into a chilled coupe glass.
- Flame the Chartreuse in a separate container
- Pour while flaming on top of the cocktail.