Excerpts from the transcript of a text-message-turned-email exchange between T.Mixeur and C.Mixeur dated Friday, August 1, 2008:
T: What was the name of the Chartreuse we were drinking last night?
C: Elisir M.P. Roux. And it's not Chartreuse
T: Why did I think it was Chartreuse?
C: 1. You're a little stupid, but we're not supposed to talk about it in front of you.
2. We were comparing its flavor to Chartreuse. It is similar.
T: Do you remember what Murray mixed with it, or Jay?
T: Any other highlights of the evening?
C: I won the Nobel Peace prize while you were in the bathroom, but I gave it back. Too much hassle.
Elisir M.P. Roux is not Chartreuse. This is just one example of the precious jewels of information readers of this blog are treated to on a regular basis.
(We interrupt this blog to bring you the following news bulletin: St. Germain is not Benedictine...repeat: NOT Benedictine).
Yet I enjoyed Elisir M.P. Roux under the impression it was some new form of Chartreuse. In a related story, Elisir M.P. Roux is 94 proof, yet goes down surprisingly easy!
Here are some actual facts about Roux that we have derived from conducting legitimate research:
It is an herbal liqueur, created my Marcel Roux. And unlike those stodgy old Carthusian coots or the boys of Benedictine, Monsieur Roux is happy to let us know what each of the 14 botanicals used in his Elisir are...
- bitter almond
- wild angelica
- lemon balm
- garden balsam
- star anise
Fortunately people tend to ignore me anyway.
Let's provide a little context, shall we?
C. and I met with the Ubiquitous Dr. David Yow and The Nefarious Jamie Boudreau, Esquire, at the Zig Zag Cafe last Thursday, and upon my arrival C. had already presented a bottle of the Elisir -- procured during his trip to Portland last weekend for the 1st Anniversary of the Tear Drop Lounge -- to Murray. Jamie asked me if I'd had the Roux, and I said I managed to avoid this wheat-bearing soup base while in New Orleans, and was proud of the accomplishment.
Jamie then turned to the bowl of citrus fruit to his right and attempted to engage it in conversation instead.
Having completed his use of the Roux, Murray placed the bottle in front of us. It is a beautiful bottle, elegant and simply shaped, clear glass, with etchings of various botanicals on each side. It's also beautiful in its 1 liter size, a volume of booze all too rare in Washington State.
Murray's drink with it was wonderful, but since it was C.'s I left responsibility to him for learning what was in it. 'Twas not the first time and shan't be the last that my big brother let me down...
Zane Harris of Vessel and Anu (whose name and place of business I did not get but I'm certain both are fabulous) both arrived. Dr. Yow reached the end of his stamina and Jamie got into an altercation with the bowl of fruit that spilled outside. The remaining four of us trekked to Sambar with another bottle of the Roux to see what Jay would do.
My recollection is a bit fresher than C.'s on this one. As I recall, Jay combined the Roux with some St. Germain (which, again, is NOT Benedictine), some grapefruit juice, and a little...gin? Something like that. Whatever it was, it worked. Or as I said at the time, "Jay man! Nobody mixes up Chartreuse like you!"
That was the point when they encouraged me to go to the bathroom so C. could accept his Nobel Peace Prize without me embarrassing him.
Gary Regan had the temerity, the unmitigated gall, to write about Elisir M.P. Roux almost four years ago in the San Francisco Chronicle. Talk about pissing on someone's parade when they're excited about having found something "new." But that Regan guy gets all the good stuff because all these West Coast wannabes are always just mailing him bottles, hoping to score some brownie points (by the way, my own personal brownie points are on clearance sale at the moment, if anyone wants to do something to score some with me).
He even included a recipe, slightly more specific than the ones I have provided thus far, and an original invention of "The Professor."
2 ounces Wild Turkey bourbon (101-proof)
1 1/2 ounces Noilly Prat sweet vermouth
1/2 ounce Elisir M.P. Roux
1 lemon wedge, for garnish
Fill a medium-sized wine goblet with ice, and add the bourbon, vermouth, and Elisir M.P. Roux. Squeeze the lemon wedge into the drink and drop it into the glass. Stir briefly and serve.
I eventually left Sambar and returned home at 2:30 in the morning to find the entire block was without power, including the street lights and traffic lights. I walked into my new home to absolute darkness, listening to the sounds of a strong wind blowing the trees and of me knocking things over and tumbling over unpacked boxes. Clearly, the union of Elisir M.P. Roux and Monsier E.C. Munat was to have ramifications no less significant than the metamorphosis of the earth. I'd like to see some bottle of Chartreuse accomplish that feat.