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The Alaska is a sophisticated cocktail, which includes gin, yellow Chartreuse, and orange bitters.
One of the earliest documented appearances of the Alaska Cocktail can be traced back to the 1914 book “Drinks” by Jacques Straub. Although Straub’s book primarily focused on cocktails, punches, and other mixed drinks, it provides a significant historical reference for the Alaska Cocktail. While Straub’s book offers a glimpse into the cocktail’s early existence, it doesn’t provide much information about its origins or the inspiration behind the name.
The classic Alaska Cocktail consists of just three primary ingredients, each playing a vital role in creating its distinctive character.
The base spirit of the Alaska Cocktail is gin, a classic choice that imparts the drink with its strong and aromatic foundation. The use of gin brings an element of botanicals and juniper, which marries beautifully with the other ingredients.
The use of yellow Chartreuse is what truly sets this cocktail apart from other gin-based drinks. Yellow Chartreuse is a complex herbal liqueur that brings a unique blend of flavors, including a harmonious fusion of 130 different botanicals. This liqueur infuses the cocktail with a rich, herbaceous, and slightly sweet character that balances the gin’s intensity.
A dash of orange bitters is the final element that completes this cocktail. This seemingly small addition adds depth and complexity, enhancing the overall flavor profile with its bitter and citrusy notes.
The Alaska Cocktail offers a delightful sensory experience for those who appreciate well-crafted drinks. The combination of gin and yellow Chartreuse creates a beautifully balanced interplay of herbal and botanical notes, making it a cocktail of depth and intrigue. The distinct aroma of juniper and herbs from the gin, along with the rich, complex herbal qualities of yellow Chartreuse, combine to create a well-balanced flavor profile.
The orange bitters, with their subtle citrusy undertones and bitterness, provide the finishing touch to the cocktail, elevating it beyond the ordinary. The result is a refined, spirit-forward drink that is neither too sweet nor too dry, appealing to those with a penchant for cocktails that venture outside the conventional.
What sets the Alaska Cocktail apart and gives it its enduring allure is its uniqueness. It’s not a cocktail you’ll find on every drink menu, and this rarity is part of its charm. As a classic cocktail, Alaska stands the test of time, having been enjoyed for over a century, yet it maintains an air of exclusivity.
45 ml gin
15 ml yellow Chartreuse
1 dash orange bitters
Garnish: lemon twist
Add the gin, yellow Chartreuse, and orange bitters into a mixing glass.
Add ice, and stir to combine.
Strain into a coupe or martini glass.
Garnish with a lemon twist.