The Green Man is a mysterious chap. A nature deity, he is usually depicted as an anthropomorphic form composed entirely of lush, green vegetation; his face sprouting leaves instead of hair and branches streaming from his mouth. Interestingly, though he appears to be obviously pagan, the Green Man peers out from the architectural details of Christian churches throughout Europe.
The Green Man plays a significant role in the festivities of spring and summer when the world turns verdant and and fecund with new life. He has close ties to the May King and Jack-in-the-Green at Beltane celebrations where he serves as a seasonal aspect of the Horned God, the male principal in nature, alongside the May Queen representing the Goddess. An excellent website dedicated to all things Green Man can be found here.
To celebrate the Green Man now that spring is finally arriving, I have concocted a lusciously green and herbal cocktail. It combines the manliest gin I have in my pantry currently, Bulldog; Chartreuse, the herbaliest and greenest of herbal liqueurs; St-Germain elderflower liqueur (because where there’s green there’s flowers); green limes (are there any other color?); sparkling wine (we’re celebrating!); a smidge of absinthe (I keep my green fairy in an eyedropper bottle for ease of smidging); and fresh, leafy, glorious tarragon.
The Green Man
1.75 oz Gin
1 oz St-Germain
.5 oz green Chartreuse
.75 oz lime juice
3 dashes absinthe
1 oz sparkling wine
7 tarragon leaves, plus a sprig for garnish
Combine gin, St-Germain, Chartreuse, lime juice, absinthe and 7 tarragon leaves in a shaker with ice. Shake until frosty. Pour 1 oz sparkling wine into cocktail glass before straining the rest of the cocktail into the glass and garnish with tarragon sprig.
This cocktail is deliciously refreshing and the absinthe and tarragon highlight the anise notes in the other liqueurs. Shaking the leaves with the other ingredients creates a lovely tarragon confetti in the drink, like scattered leaves across the new spring landscape. Tarragon has very delicate leaves, so you won’t even notice they are there when you drink it, texturewise. It’s not like drinking lawn clippings. Promise. Look how lovely:
All hail the Green Man’s arrival!