A few weeks ago I was in France judging a cocktail contest. It's tough work, but somebody has to do it.
In reality it was a tough job because the cocktails in the contest were really great and picking the best of the best was actually quite difficult.
The King of Fools was one stand-out drink from a bartender who finished in the top three of the competition. The drink's inventor, Yao Lu, is the General Manager of The Alchemist bar in Shanghai, China and he formerly worked at Houston bar Anvil.
The cocktail begins with a base of neutral vodka and builds on it with the creamy Lillet Blanc, herbaceous Yellow Chartreuse, and potent, anisey absinthe. It has more in common with a classic cocktail from the 1860s than it does with the juicy vodka drinks of today.
Lillet Blanc is a fortified wine like vermouth. Yellow Chartreuse is a lower-alcohol (and yellow) version of the more famous Green Chartreuse. And you'll probably want to use a clear absinthe for this so your fancy cocktail doesn't turn green.
King of Fools
By Yao Lu
3 parts Grey Goose Vodka
1/2 part Lillet Blanc
1/3 part Yellow Chartreuse
1 barspoon Absinthe
Lemon peel for garnish
Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.