Improvise an Inexpensive Yellow Parrot

Improvise an Inexpensive Yellow Parrot
Photo: Claire Lower

I love trying new cocktails, and nothing annoys me more acutely than almost having all the ingredients I need to make one of them. Sadly, this is the exact situation I found myself in this week when my friend Dan sent me a recipe for the Yellow Parrot, an extremely booze-heavy (and not very cost-effective) three-ingredient libation.

I have a pretty full bar cart, but none of the bottles required to make this drink were on it. I did, however, have booze that was similar to, if not exactly the same as, the ones required. Instead of absinthe, I had Pernod brand pastis; instead of yellow Chartreuse, I had green; instead of apricot liqueur, I had peach.

Belying its fancy ingredients, the Yellow Parrot is a pretty simple cocktail — you just stir equal parts of everything over cracked ice for a full minute, then strain it over yet more ice and garnish with lemon zest (which I was of course also out of). My path was clear: to make an almost Yellow Parrot with the not-quite-right ingredients I had in front of me. I decided to call it a “Murky Parrot,” because Pernod gets cloudy when you dilute it.

After a full minute of mixing pastis with green Chartreuse and peach liqueur, I was rewarded with a flavorful, boozy beverage with a taste reminiscent of European candy — sweet and herbal and licorice-y. I kept thinking “this is a bit too sweet,” but I also could not stop drinking it, which means I am now a little tipsy, and it’s not even noon.

To make your own Murky Parrot, you will need:

  • 30mL pastis
  • 30mL Chartreuse
  • 30mL peach liqueur

Pour everything into a mixing glass filled with cracked ice and stir for one minute. Strain into a lowball filled with ice, and express the oil from a strip of orange or lemon zest over the top of the drink before rubbing it around the edge of the glass. (Do not skip the garnish here; that bite of citrus oil is needed to counteract the drink’s more candy-like qualities.)

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