The Green Horizon · Island Creek Oyster Bar
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“It’s a beach-sipper you can have in the middle of a blizzard.”
That’s how Jesse Lauden, head bartender at Island Creek Oyster Bar, describes one of the Fenway seafood staple’s most interesting drinks: the Green Horizon.
The cocktail, which proudly bears the menu tagline “warm sun on calm water,” features punchy ingredients like Green Chartreuse, jalapeño-infused tequila, and a house-made fennel syrup alongside refreshing pineapple, lime, and cucumber. It debuted as a winter cocktail but proved popular enough to earn a spot on the summer list, too.
“We started off wanting to do a jalapeño-tequila cocktail with pineapple and Chartreuse,” Lauden says, “and then we took all of our secret weapons for making things refreshing, adding a little cucumber and a little chartreuse, adding the celery … almost like a kitchen sink-style cocktail.”
The end result drinks like a cold-weather sipper but tastes like a refreshing summertime cocktail. The spice kick from the tequila is measured, not overwhelming, allowing the herbaceous fennel and hint of Chartreuse to shine through. Celery adds a slightly savory note, and the sweetness of the pineapple, forming a little crema at the top of the drink, keeps it bright.
Key to the drink’s balance is the tequila’s relatively light jalapeño infusion: just 24 hours.
“We wanted to do an infusion where we got the light flavor and a little bit of heat,” Lauden says, “but then we could build the cocktail around it without the jalapeño flavor necessarily being a really strong component.”
1½ ounces jalapeño-infused blanco tequila*
1 ounce pineapple juice
¾ ounce fennel syrup**
½ ounce lime juice
¼ ounce Green Chartreuse
Pinch of Salt
1 cucumber round
1-inch slice of celery
Lime wheel, for garnish
Muddle salt, celery, and cucumber in a mixing glass. Add other ingredients and ice, then shake until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with lime wheel.
*Jalapeño-Infused Blanco Tequila
1 large, ripe jalapeño
1 liter blanco tequila
Add jalapeño to tequila in bottle or closed container. Infuse for 24 hours, and pass through a fine strainer to remove jalapeño bits before serving.
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 fresh fennel bulb, fronds and core removed
4 cups sugar
4 cups water
Toast fennel seeds. Bring water to just below boiling, add ingredients, and simmer for 15 minutes. Pour into a plastic container and keep the lid cracked until syrup cools. Steep overnight and strain the next day. Syrup will keep three weeks, refrigerated.