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Cocktail Recipe – The Gilded Lilly from The Alembic, San Francisco, CA

Submitted by on July 23, 2011 – 8:10 pmOne Comment

There are moments for when a liquid slap in the face is preferable or even required.  Then there are those wherein a quaff of sophistication is what is called for.  It is in this hour that one is right to invite rather than eschew pretense, dress to the nines and carry about airs whilst trading witty bon mot.  The drink one carries at such a time should not be so stout as to impede the command of conversational faculties yet must still be stiff enough to banish care.  Selecting your tipple of choice here requires the same care and discernment employed in electing which necklace or cuff links shall accompany your gown or tuxedo.   It is an accessory worthy of leaving a mark on your character in a manner similar to escorting a dull date or forgetting the name of ones’ host.  If you find yourself in such a moment, I humbly suggest you call for The Gilded Lilly cocktail from The Alembic in San Francisco.


1000000289 225x300 Cocktail Recipe   The Gilded Lilly from The Alembic, San Francisco, CA

The Gilded Lilly by The Alembic, San Francisco

No, but seriously, while it may not be as important as all that, this cocktail is a good one for the home bartender to have command of.  It truly is a sophisticated cocktail recipe and not just because of the floating gold leaf that adorns the top.  The combination of gin and Chartreuse, either green or yellow, is classic.   It is the addition of Moet and Chandon Imperial Nectar demi-sec champagne that elevates the Gilded Lilly to the level of the unexpected.   You can try this one with green Chartreuse instead of yellow if that is all you have on hand but I would cut it back to 3/4 ounce an up the gin by 1/4 ounce so the green Chartreuse does not overpower the drink.



What is not so important here, I think, is the gold leaf.  I realize that it exists as an integral part of the visual presentation here (at least in the mind of the mixologists who created it) but I find it unnecessary.  It strikes me as trying a bit too hard to grab a “wow.”  The flavor of the cocktail alone is enough the garner the respect and appreciation of the imbiber.  That said, it may just be a bit of fun and I am missing the point.


In terms of the recipe, the following is not official.  This is my recreation of the drink and I think I am definitely in the ball park here.  Adjust the Chartreuse as needed to suit your taste.  I opted for a full 1 ounce to 2 ounces of Plymouth gin.  The orange flower water and champagne make up the remaining 1 ounce of this 4 ounce beverage.  This is a fun party drink as the champagne adds just enough bubble and the yellow chartreuse just enough herbally sweetness.





2 ounces Plymouth gin

1 ounce yellow Chartreuse

1/2 ounce orange flower water

1/2 ounce Moet & Chandon Imperial Nectar demi-sec champagne


Add all ingredients except the champagne to an ice filled cocktail shaker and stir well to chill.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and serve.  Garnish at your own risk.

article clipper Cocktail Recipe   The Gilded Lilly from The Alembic, San Francisco, CA

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One Comment »

  • Isabella says:

    I have to tell you that if a man invited me for a drink and served me this with gold leaves floating in it, I would be putty in his hands. So leave the gold out at your own peril, guys!

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