Photo by Angela Prosper

Cocktail Recipe: Chelsea Chop

by | Jun 5, 2020

Sparkle, pop, fizz or tingle? There really isn’t a word that can honestly describe the incredible sensation of carbonated bubbles on the tongue. It may seem like an overstatement, but those little pops of CO₂ are actually pretty special.

Part science experiment and part natural process, bubbles create a wave of tingling sensations that are pleasant to the palate and confusing to the brain. That’s because they trigger our sour and spice receptors, creating that recognizable prickly sensation that we love, with the added bonus of bringing out the brightness and fresh flavors in cocktails and sugary beverages.

Ever heard of the Chelsea Chop? If not, then you probably aren’t obsessed with British gardening shows like I am — the popular pruning technique is used to control the growth of unruly plants. This bright green cocktail is a nod to the annual garden ritual.

With fresh produce coming into abundance this time of year, a bubbly cocktail with crisp flavors like cucumber and fennel are a match made in heaven alongside Oregon’s Dogwood Distilling Union Gin. Bright citrus peel dances around hints of lavender and juniper for a truly herbaceous presentation.

Chelsea Chop

Makes 1 cocktail

1½ ounces Dogwood Distilling Union Gin
1½ ounce Chelsea Garden Blend (recipe follows)
¾ ounce Coriander Syrup (recipe follows)
3-4 ounces seltzer water
Garnish: cucumber curl, kaffir lime leaves

Place all ingredients except for the seltzer into a mixing glass. Add ice, cap and shake vigorously. Strain into a collins glass filled with ice. Top with the seltzer water. Garnish with a cucumber curl and kaffir lime leaves.

Chelsea Garden Blend

¼ English cucumber
¼ fennel bulb
1 celery stick
1 lime, juiced
1 cup pressed coconut water

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Store refrigerated for up to 4 days. Yields 2 cups.

Coriander Syrup

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon toasted coriander seeds
1 tablespoon toasted fennel seeds
Zest of 1 orange

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and gently bring to just a boil. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Once cooled, strain out solids and store in the fridge for up to 6 weeks. Yields 1 cup.


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