The Charbonneau Way is one of my favorite fall or anytime cocktails. It was created by bartender Abigail Gullo at Nina Compton’s award winning restaurant, Compere Lapin, in New Orleans. The Charbonneau Way is a perfect example of a beautifully balanced drink. It is subtle, but boozy, so be careful because it may slowly sneak up on you! I am partial the rye whiskey that Abigail recommends because it is not as sweet as bourbon.
This yummy cocktail combines rye whiskey, lemon juice, and maple syrup for a simple subtle sweetness. She also uses Suze, a slightly bitter French liqueur, to round out the flavors. Suze is a French aperitif described as a “refreshing drink” having “soft citrus undertones.” It is made from the gentian root which is grown in the mountains in France and Switzerland. Sounds exotic and it is. It has a very distinct flavor but not one that overpowers the drink.
Abigail mists the glass first with a little absinthe. I used Herbsaint to capture that similar mild licorice taste. After the glass has been misted, the remainder of the ingredients are combined in a cocktail shaker with ice. You can shake the cocktail mix to chill the ingredients until cool and icy. Abigail recommends serving the Charbonneau Way in a coupe glass. I served mine in a small martini glass. Garnish with a sprig or two of fresh thyme. Et voila! Sante!