The Champs Elysees – A Calvados Brandy Cocktail

Champs Elysee -A_Calvados Brandy Cocktail

A great classic Calvados and green chartreuse cocktail, of French origin.

 

 

 

We love exploring classic cocktail books and revisiting classic cocktails. This week we head back to one of our favorite books, Harry Craddock’s Savoy Cocktail. It might be the definitive collection of Pre-Prohibition era cocktails. One cocktail that caught our eye was the Champs Elysees, a classic French cocktail that just exudes elegance.

 

Green Chartreuse Cocktail

The Champs Elysees faded from popularity for a while. But, as interest in classic cocktails has grown, you can now find the Champs Elysees on many menus at craft cocktail bars.

 

 

 

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Champs Elysee -A_Calvados Brandy Cocktail

Coupe Glass / Fine Mesh Strainer

 

 

 

The traditional Champs Elysees is as French as its namesake, using two classic French spirits, cognac and Chartreuse. This creates an intriguing elegant cocktail. In the Savoy Cocktail book, Harry Craddock (one of the most famous bartenders of the 1920s and 1930s) presents the Champs Elysees as a six person recipe, which means this was a heck of a party drink!

 

 

 

Like many cocktails of this era, this cocktail showcases the spirits. It doesn’t try to hide the boozy aspects beneath a ton of mixers.

 

 

 

Champs Elysee cocktail with orange peel. Lemon, flowers, strainer and jigger in background

Jigger / Angostura Bitters / Shaker

 

 

The Champs Elysees prominently features Chartreuse in the cocktail, which gives the cocktail a very unique flavor. Chartreuse is a unique liqueur made up of a combination of 130 herbs and botanicals that are combined per a recipe passed down by Carthusian monks since 1737.

 

 

 

 

 

This liqueur is super complex and aromatic, with layers of flavors. They combine to make a very herb forward spirit and rich green color that is uniquely French.

 

 

 

Champs Elysee cocktail with orange peel. Lemon, flowers, jigger and strainer

 

 

 

Is Calvados A Cognac?

We decided to mix up our take on the Champs Elysees and substitute in another classic French spirit, Calvados for the cognac. Calvados is an apple brandy distilled from French apple cider in the Normandy region, where there are huge apple orchards.

 

 

 

With a large concentration of apple orchards in the region, it was only natural that the farmer’s of Normandy decided to use some of their harvest to make booze from their cider! It is distilled twice like a cognac.

 

 

 

Champs Elysee cocktail, orange peel. Orange, flowers, strainer and jigger in background

 

 

 

The combination of Calvados and Chartreuse make for a great pairing. The hint of apple in the Calvados enhancing the natural sweetness in the Chartreuse. With the spirits being fairly bold, we needed to bring the drink into balance by adding in a sour and a sweet component.

 

 

 

One sure fire way to add a sour component is to incorporate some fresh squeezed lemon juice. This not only brings sour notes but also a bright hint of citrus that helps pull out some of the more subtle herbal notes of the Chartreuse. A splash of simple syrup sweetens up the drink and balances out the spirits and sour.

 

 

 

Champs Elysee cocktail, orange peel, lemon, strainer and jigger in background

 

 

 

A couple of dashes of aromatic bitters brings a finishing touch to our take on the Champs Elysees by adding a hint of spice. The bitters works really well with the apple hints from the Calvados. A pinch of salt tempers the tartness of the lemon and helps smooth the herbal notes to make it very pleasing to the tastebuds!

 

 

 

Champs Elysee Cocktail with strainer, lemon and flowers in background

 

 

 

A pleasing combination of sweet and citrus, the Champs Elysees has a wonderful herbal component that makes this cocktail a real study in layered flavors and aromas. Fans of spirit forward cocktails will enjoy this as the spirits are boldly showcased, while the citrus brings a refreshing tartness to the cocktail!

 

 

Cheers!

 

 

Like this recipe? Try these below, too!

The Monk's Muse A Gin & Chartreuse Cocktail

The Monk’s Muse Cocktail

 

 

 

The Lumiere Cocktail

 

 

 

Other Calvados Cocktails

Escape from New York – Imbibe

Calvados Sidecar – The Washington Post

Rum Calvados – One Martini

Apples and Oranges – The Wonderland Kitchen

Hot Apple Pie – What a Girl Eats

 

 

 

Yield: 1

The Champs Elysees - A Calvados Brandy Cocktail

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
Classic flavors in this cocktail - Calvados, green chartreuse and lemon.

Ingredients

  • .50 oz green chartreuse
  • pinch of salt
  • 2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • .75 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • .50 oz simple syrup
  • 1.50 oz Calvados Apple Brandy

Instructions

Add all ingredients to a shaker.

Fill with ice and shake vigorously.

Strain into a cocktail coupe.

Garnish with a citrus twist.

Cheers!

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

1

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 116 Total Fat: 0.2g Saturated Fat: 0.2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 16mg Carbohydrates: 13.5g Fiber: 0.1g Sugar: 0.8g Protein: 0.2g

 

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24 thoughts on “The Champs Elysees – A Calvados Brandy Cocktail

  1. This is beautiful! I have never heard of Green Chartreuse. I can’t wait to try it. =) I’ve only recently started exploring using bitters as well, so this drink will be a great way to explore new territory. Your creations are always so stunning!

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