Cocktail Recipe – The Golden State Cocktail
I created this drink a few years back during my initial experimentations with Lillet Blanc. I was inspired by the omnipresent aromas of lemon/orange and herbs when I made this concoction. The gin must be full flavored and not at all “vodka-like” for this drink to work. I used Hendrick’s Scottish Gin because I find it fully flavored yet still very clean. As such, it marries well with citrus flavors and with herbs.
Be excited or warned, based on your perspective, this is a drink for gin lovers. People who don’t enjoy gin will probably not enjoy this. That said, the magic here is the marriage between the Lillet, Gran Marnier, Meyer lemon and the fresh thyme. They play very well together. The wedge Meyer lemon works here due to its floral characteristics and lower acidity than a normal lemon.
The key is to muddle the thyme well along with the Gran Marnier before adding the remaining ingredients. This step releases the essential oils from the thyme into the liquor. Then shake it all together to truly blend all ingredients.
This is also a large cocktail coming in at 5 ounces. I like it served on the rocks, but into a chilled cocktail or over-sized coupe glass might seem more appropriate, especially if entertaining. If placed in a cocktail glass, remove the lemon slice for a lemon wheel and float it on top. Cheers!
The Golden State Cocktail
1.5 oz Lillet Blanc
3 oz Gin
.5 oz Gran Marnier
2 sprigs fresh Thyme
1 Meyer lemon wedge, for garnish
Muddle the thyme sprigs in the bottom of a cocktail shaker with the .5 oz of Gran Marnier. Add the Lillet Blanc, the Gin and ice and, shake vigorously to combine flavors.
Strain into an ice filled rocks glass and garnish with the Meyer lemon wedge and serve.