Season Finale (Explorateur)

Alexis Jesup

Experiencing this particular season finale doesn’t require 10 hours of Netflix bingeing—but it does involve lighting a 110-proof spirit on fire.

Flaming Green Chartreuse isn’t the only trick this climactic cocktail has up its sleeve. It also calls for two types of mezcal, two liqueurs, and the sweet juice found in a jar of cocktail cherries.

Explorateur bar manager Gina Goyette selected the two mezcals—each made by Del Maguey—based on their contrasting characteristics.

“The Vida is a warmer mezcal with more vanilla and getting-into-fall notes, and the Chichicapa is more citrusy and has a minty finish,” says Goyette. “It’s a nice balancing of a very masculine, strong mezcal with a slightly more elegant mezcal.” (For a more budget-conscious cocktail, Goyette suggests dropping the Chichicapa and using only Vida).

All that smokiness is tempered by St-Germain, as well as Combier, a French orange liqueur that Goyette describes as “well-balanced and clean.” The drink’s sweeter side gets a boost from a less traditional source: the leftover juice from a jar of Luxardo Maraschino cocktail cherries.

“It says right on the jar that it’s 50 percent juice, 50 percent cherries. And I hate throwing away that cherry juice,” says Goyette.

Once the drink has been shaken and strained, it’s finished with a float of flaming Chartreuse that cooks its cocktail cherry garnish. Sure, burning Chartreuse looks cool—but it also has a powerful aromatic effect.

“When we pour the flaming Chartreuse, it kind of coats the cherry and it gives off a really awesome Chartreuse and burnt marshmallow aroma,” Goyette says.

Of course, those seeking to imitate this final step at home should do so with the utmost caution. But if you’re not feeling up to the pyrotechnics, Goyette suggests simply pouring in the Chartreuse without lighting it. After all, you’re already getting a generous amount of smoke from the mezcal.

Season One Finale
1 ounce Del Maguey Vida Mezcal
½ ounce Del Maguey Chichicapa
½ ounce Combier Liqueur d’Orange
½ ounce St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur
½ ounce lime juice
Scant ½ ounce Luxardo Maraschino cherry juice
¼ ounce Green Chartreuse
Maraschino cherry, to garnish

Combine all ingredients except Green Chartreuse in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake, and strain into a rocks glass with a large, single ice cube. Spear a maraschino cherry with a bamboo skewer and place it over the ice cube. Pour Green Chartreuse into jigger and carefully light with match. Pour flaming Green Chartreuse over the cherry garnish and serve.

Brian Samuels

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