Turning once again to the Cocktail Database, I found what looked like an interesting drink, the Sir Knight. Composed entirely of spirits and bitters, I was wary about the preponderance of liqueurs, but hoped that the herbal notes of the Chartreuse and the bitters would keep it in balance. From the first sip it was clear that the drink was simply too sweet, so I added some lemon juice to give it some acidic balance, which finally brought it into line. The combination of its alcoholic punch with the acidic bite of lemon made me think that it deserved the name of the most fraught knight of them all, Sir Lancelot.
1 oz cognac
3/4 oz yellow Chartreuse
3/4 oz orange liqueur
1/2 oz lemon juice
1 dash Angostura bitters
Combine all ingredients, stir with ice for fifteen seconds, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a strip of lemon peel.
The nose is delicately balanced between the cognac, Chartreuse, and orange liqueur, with the herbs keeping the fruitier notes from becoming cloying. The sip begins balanced between sweet grape from the cognac and orange liqueur and the tartness of the lemon, herbal notes and orange dominate the middle, then it becomes more overtly lemon-y and acidic towards the back. The herbal notes return in the finish which lingers with a certain amount of heat.
Unlike many cocktails with a more delicate balance, this one contains a rowdy bunch that have fought each other to a standstill. I suspect it could become more mellow as a long drink and might work well built over ice with a healthy dose of soda to lengthen it and give it a bit more snap.
Either way it's worth noting that I made this with Louis Royer Force 53 cognac, so you might need an extra 1/4 oz if you're using the standard 40% ABV kind.
Lagavulin 21 year old 1991 (thank you, Brett!)
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