Champs Élysées Cocktail – Make This Fantastic 1934 Savoy Recipe

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Champs Élysées Cocktail
Champs Élysées Cocktail

The History Of The Champs Élysées Cocktail.

Champs Élysées is French for Elysian Fields and is named after the famous French avenue that terminates at the Arc de Triomphe. This cocktail was invented by Harry Craddock in London and came from the 1934 Savoy Cocktail book. I love this drink, and I feel this is one of the best cocktails from the Savoy book. The Savoy cocktail book was printed in 1934 mainly for an American audience that was recently able to order cocktails again with the repeal of Prohibition legally. The Savoy Cocktail Book is regarded as one of the best European cocktail books to come out of the period. It is an example of how cocktails changed during the American prohibition era. It helped introduce Americans to less common liqueurs and aperitifs such as Chartreuse, which were more familiar with European cocktails.

I do not speak French, and the first time I said the name of this cocktail, I called it the Champs like champions and said Elysees like Ulysses. This is not how you pronounce this cocktail. The phonetic way to say it is shaanz eh·lee·zei. Before ordering one of these, you should google how to pronounce it correctly to save you any embarrassment. This also isn’t a drink you can order anywhere, high-end bars or bars that pride themselves around unique craft cocktails will know how to make this, but any average to even mid-level bar will not know what this is even if they have all the ingredients.

What Does The Champs Élysées Taste Like?

The oaky wine flavor of the brandy is perfectly balanced by the herbal flavor of the Green Chartreuse, and the acidic citrus is cut perfectly by the syrup. It tastes like an herbal brandy sour, but its proportions make it balanced and tasty. If you have never had this, you don’t know what you are missing—one of the top 5 drinks I have ever had.

The Most Important Ingredient

The most essential ingredient in the Champs Élysées is the Green Chartreuse. Its unique green herb flavor shapes the drink. Any ordinary brandy will work, and in fact, I wouldn’t use a lovely sipping one. It would be a waste since the Chartreuse becomes the primary flavor. Fortunately, there is only one Green Chartreuse, so you can’t make this wrong since it’s a pretty short list of ingredients. Unfortunately, Green Chartreuse costs around $60 a bottle, making this a pretty pricy drink to make at home.

A Short History Of The American Bar at the Savoy Hotel In London.

In 1893, The American Bar at the Savoy hotel started serving American-style cocktails in London to the British upper class. The American Bar has always been a high-end bar but what set it on the map was when Harry Craddock became its head bartender in the 1920s. Harry Craddock was a British-born bartender who immigrated to the United States, eventually becoming a US citizen and head bartender of several high-end hotel bars. Still, Harry found himself out of work with the start of prohibition in 1920. He then immigrated back to England and became head bartender of the Savoy Hotel’s Bar. Harry transformed The American Bar from a high-end bar to one of the seminal cocktail bars of the 20th century. As the American prohibition was ending, the hotel realized it should record all of its most famous recipes and the innovations Harry brought to the bar. A year later, they published the Savoy Cocktail Book. Printed in 1934, the Savoy Cocktail Book documents the bar’s best recipes from the 1890s to the 1930s and stands as the pillar of prohibition-era European cocktail innovation. If Jerry Thomas’s Bartenders Guide is the best cocktail book the 1800s gave us, then The Savoy Cocktail Book is the best cocktail book of the first half of the 1900s. I don’t think I will ever be able to drink there, though. A cocktail cost around $250 there, and they have one that’s almost $1000, and I’m not the Amazon guy, so good thing we have their recipe book.

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Champs Élysées Cocktail

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Course: DrinksCuisine: British
Servings

1

servings
Calories

202

kcal
ABV

32%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Champs Élysées Cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

  • 1/3 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1/3 oz Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 oz Green Chartreuse

  • 1.5 oz Brandy

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker. Add ice to the shaker.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into glass to remove ice shards

Notes


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