Is anything as comforting as chamomile? A little grassy, a little floral, instantly familiar — we love a steaming mug of chamomile tea, but for mixology purposes, we really love chamomile liqueur.
We’re using a version made by Cointreau, best known for their namesake orange liqueur, but you can find others on the market. The Cointreau version tastes vividly of chamomile; it’s pleasantly sweet, moderately boozy, and gets along with all sorts of spirits. Here are our three favorite ways to mix it.
Easy: Chamomile and Soda
We love the complex floral flavor of the chamomile liqueur, but most folks will find it too intense to drink straight. The solution? Soda water. The result is a tall, sippable drink that almost could pass for iced tea. (Except for, you know, the booze.)
Instructions: In a tall glass with ice, stir together 1 ounce of chamomile liqueur and 4 ounces of soda. Garnish with a straw and a few lemons.
You might not know it if you’ve only had tequila in margaritas (or ill-advised shots), but the best versions of spirit can have interesting grassy, vegetal notes — a perfect match for chamomile. Stir the two together and you have a sophisticated cocktail that warms you all the way down.
Instructions: In a mixing glass with ice, combine 1 1/2 ounces of reposado tequila and 1 1/2 ounces of chamomile liqueur. Add a dash of orange bitters and a dash of Angostura. Stir until very well-chilled, then strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with two lemon peels, twisting them over the top of the drink to spray their citrus oils.
Advanced: Chamomile Scotch Sour
Some Scotches are powerfully smoky, but others have a softer, floral-honey taste to them — and chamomile liqueur picks those flavors right up. They come together beautifully in a classic sour, with egg white to add a silky texture and a certain lightness to the whole thing.
Instructions: In a cocktail shaker without ice, combine 1 ounce of blended Scotch, 1 ounce of chamomile liqueur, 3/4 ounce of fresh lemon juice, 1/4 ounce of simple syrup, and 1 egg white. Shake all that up without ice. Then add ice and shake again to chill. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon and a cherry.