The Bijou is another Harry Johnson creation and appears in his 1900 “New and Improved Bartender Manual”. Bijou means jewel in French and the ingredients are meant to represent different jewels. Gin for diamond, Sweet vermouth for ruby and Green Chartreuse for Emerald.
On paper this looked very much on the outer edge of what I would drink, although I do like a Last Word, the 1920s cocktail also made with Green Chartreuse.
Chartreuse is made by French monks using a secret recipe of 130 herbs and plants that are steeped and macerated in the spirit. Although liqueurs are sweetened spirits, the ingredients in Chartreuse give it a pungent and spicy flavour.
This was a revelation for me. I really liked the flavour and balance of the Bijou. I was a little surprised, given the ingredients and alcohol content!
Ingredients for a Bijou
30ml sweet vermouth
30ml green Chartreuse
Garnish with an olive or a maraschino cherry, or not at all!
Stir all the ingredients together in an ice-filled mixing glass. Double strain into a chilled glass and garnish if you choose.