12 Drinks of Christmas: Alpine Sangria
For the sixth drink of Christmas, my true love served to me … an Alpine Sangria.
As we mentioned on the fourth drink of Christmas, we’ve been experimenting with winter sangria. As our friend and field tester Kariuki mentioned, he couldn’t find the key ingredient to one of our recipes. You may not be able to either. Nonetheless, that’s the recipe I’m going to share with you today. That goes against the grain for Roberts and June. We’re usually all about making good cocktails accessible; and there’s nothing more inaccessible than a drink based on a liqueur you can’t find.
Two things remain in our favor. Once the liqueur is found, the drink itself is very easy to make. And if you’re lucky enough to find the liqueur, we don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
The liqueur in question is Genepy des Alpes, an herbal liqueur made by the people who bring us Dolin vermouth. Genepy has many of the same herbs as Chartreuse, but in a lighter form, and with a finish that one description I ran across called ‘candy cane.’ In its native France, on that delightful corner of the Alps where France meets Italy and Switzerland, genepy is a popular apres-ski drink. And it tastes exactly like I would imagine a ski weekend in the Alps would: crisp, fresh, evergreen, warm, and pepperminty.
Genepy des Alpes, and genepy in general, is still rather rare in the US. But we’re betting it will break big. If you see it now, buy it. It’s an excellent contender for bottle #9. And two years from now, when it’s as omnipresent as St. Germain, you can say, ‘I was mixing with it when no one had heard of it and you had to try 6 liquor stores before you found it.’ There’s nothing like indie cred.
If you come across a bottle, we have some ideas for you. Start with this one.
- I bottle cheap, sweet white wine–the cheapest Riesling you can find would be perfect.
- 1 cup Genepy des Alpes
- 1 cup seltzer
- 1 sliced lemon
- 1 cup whole fresh cranberries
- mix the wine, genepy, lemon, and cranberries ahead of time, at least an hour to let the flavors mix.
- If you don’t have time to mix it early, very gently muddle the cranberries and lemon. You want to accelerate the flavor of cranberry mixing into the drink , but without having small bits of cranberry floating in people’s drinks;
- at time of serving, add the seltzer and ice;
- serve in ice-fillled glasses;
- imagine that you’ve just come in from a day of Alpine skiing.