The Yellow Smash is one of my all-time-favorites. It has almost everything I love about cocktails: a complexity of flavors you won’t find in a single spirit, the crispness of fresh juices in combination with high quality liqueur, fresh herbs and an overall balanced taste. The cocktail was invented in the Bavarian city of Munich by Klaus St. Rainer of the “Goldene Bar”. It is a typical smash cocktail, because it is basically a sour using fresh herbs in the shaking-process to enhance it with color, flavor and depth.
The base of the drink also is one of my favorite liqueurs: Chartreuse from La Grande Chartreuse near the French town of Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse in the Département Isère. The monks there produce this liqueur (with some variations to the recipe over time) since the 17th century. There are two versions available: the stronger green version or Chartreuse Verte and the slightly sweeter yellow version or Chartreuse Jaune. The Yellow Smash relies on the Chartreuse Jaune to not overpower the drink. Its herbal and botanical sweetness works hand in hand with a little simple syrup in the recipe to counter the juice of a lime. Orange Curacao emphasizes the freshness of the lime juice and adds additional depth of flavor. The mint leaves round off the drink. It tastes like a fresh and herbal revelation you expect to find in a monastery garden while strolling through the beds on a late summer afternoon. I simply love it!
6 cl Chartreuse Jaune
3 cl lime juice
1 Dash simple syrup
1 Dash Orange Curacao
10 leaves of mint, picked
Mix all ingredients together in a shaker and fill up with ice cubes. Then shake vigorously for about 15 seconds and double (!) strain into the chilled glass filled with fresh icecubes.
Buying Sources: You can find Chartreuse in most liqueur stores in well-sorted supermarkets. (Sometimes they only have the green Chartreuse Verte in stock, so be careful to buy the right bottle. The Chartreuse Jaune you should go for has only 40% vol. while the Chartreuse Verte comes with strong 55% vol. – do not mistake them since it would ruin your drink!)
Orange Curacao can also be found in liqueur stores or in well-sorted supermarktes. Orange curacao is orange-colored, not blue! Forget the blue one! Of course you’ll find both spirits also on the internet. When it comes to fresh mint I always try to purchase mine at Turkish supermarkets. They have fresh and good quality in stock which comes almost always at a far better price than in regular supermarkets.