Cocktail stories: Piña Verde

16th April, 2020 by Owen Bellwood

The herbal notes of French liqueur Chartreuse and the vibrant flavours of pineapple and coconut collide in this Piña Colada twist.

Erick Castro, co‐founder of San Diego bar Polite Provisions

Erick Castro, co‐founder of San Diego bar Polite Provisions

“I love the ability to pair coconut with herbal and grassy notes; the pairing of those two flavours has always seemed like a match made in heaven,” says Erick Castro, co‐founder of San Diego bar Polite Provisions.

For drinkers in the city looking to test Castro’s theory, a trip to Polite Provisions to sample its Piña Verde should answer their questions. The bar’s twist on the Piña Colada substitutes rum for Green Chartreuse, adding a herbaceous flavour to the tiki classic.

“The Piña Verde took years to come together,” says Castro. “It first started with me floating Green Chartreuse over my Piña Coladas when I was bartending in San Francisco. But by the time Polite Provisions opened, I just nixed the rum altogether and upped the Chartreuse.”

The use of Chartreuse gives the cocktails a “more herbal flavour” than its rum‐based inspiration, and Castro says the cocktail has “a beautifully lush and herbaceous flavour that is intriguing yet approachable”. “When one usually encounters Green Chartreuse in a cocktail, it generally only features a half ounce or so,” he says. “A little goes a long way, but with this cocktail it is cranked up to a full one‐and‐a‐half ounces, which truly unleashes its full potential.”

Since opening six years ago, Polite Provisions has become a favourite among patrons. Castro says his offering needs to cater for a range of palates. “We do not serve one narrow demographic; we serve the entire neighbourhood, regardless of whether they are in need of the latest and greatest cocktail, or a glass of wine or pint of beer.”

Due to this, he says guests were hesitant to try his Piña Verde. “When the drink was first on the menu, many customers were wary of it, particularly as many were still not familiar with Chartreuse. But it eventually became one of our most popular cocktails.”

Click through to the next page for a list of ingredients and how the Piña Verde is made.

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