Let things get weird with an old flame at the holiday office party as you sip this one under the mistletoe. The Widow’s Kiss is an old cocktail but those just learning to drink can take comfort in its gentle, supple, and smoothly spiced aromas. What’s old is new again and with its generous doses of herbal liqueurs and French brandy, you’ll feel first-class as you lean in for another nip of this feisty elixir.
Make no mistake, this is a hard edge cocktail but it’s subtle undertones of apple, honey and saffron add the allure of a feminine touch.
Cocktail recipes are regularly adapted depending on the personal preference of the mixer and the drinker, and as such, you may find countless variations for the Widow’s Kiss. The standard from what I can tell, includes Calvados, Yellow Chartreuse, and Bénédictine. Almost always, these three ingredients are represented in different proportions. Though I love herbal liqueurs, Bénédictine included, I thought I’d like to provide a variation that leaves it out and replaces it with Green Chartreuse, partly because I’m on a bit of a Chartreuse tear, but also because I thought it’d be nice to provide an option that doesn’t have you stocking your bar with ingredients you’ll seldom be using. Green Chartreuse is more powerful than the Yellow both in flavour and in alcohol – I love it but sometimes it doesn’t love me back – and thus works as an adequate substitute for the Bénédictine.
The orange peel garnish is another variation and completely optional. In the winter and especially around Christmas, I like the flavour an orange peel provides in my drink and if you wanted to go all out for your party, you could flame it as directed below.
makes 1 cocktail
2 oz Calvados
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
orange peel, for garnish (optional)
In a mixing glass filled with ice, add the Calvados, Yellow and Green Chartreuse, and bitters. Stir and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Rub the orange peel around the rim of the glass before tossing the peel in the drink.
If you wanted to get a bit showy, you could flame the orange peel by pinching the peel above the drink while holding a match close to it, creating a quick and dramatic flame as the orange oils catch fire before hitting the drink.