“The aromatics,” says New York Mixologist Matt Chavez, “the first thing you experience when you are having a cocktail is going to be the aromatics.” With years of experience working for one of the top 50 bars in the world, according to San Pellegrino, True Terpenes was thrilled to have Matt make some cocktails using our terpenes. For Chavez, Super Lemon Haze stood out from most others. In short order, Chavez knew what had to be done with the scores of aromatics coming from the strain. “You definitely want to bring [the aromatics] to the forefront and just let that kind of sing.”
The Bacardi Legacy Semi-Finalist had a particularly fun and classic strain to work with in Super Lemon Haze. The combination of terpenes including beta caryophyllene, terpinolene and humulene help create beautiful aromas and flavors resembling fresh lemon groves, right. With such a prominent, favorite flavor, Super Lemon Haze is one of the most popular terpenes around.
Lemons are one of the most common elements behind bars. This gave Matt more familiarity than strains like Goji OG or Banana Kush provided. “It was not a very shocking profile because I knew what I was getting myself into with this,” he explains. That fact did not take away from the experience. He added, “but it was very fun, very delicious and really straightforward.”
When taking in Super Lemon Haze’s terpene profile, Chavez noted the hybrid Chinese citrus Meyer lemon. He also picked up a scent a candy lover may remember, Banana Runts – likening it to banana flavoring. Additionally, Matt came across notes of lemon curd and white blossom. The flavors of the strain brought some notables tastes to his mind. They included lemon rind, bitter lime and “a lot of pine.” These flavors gave Matt the direction he was looking for. “Automatically, when I get those piney, lemony sort of profiles, I just gravitate right away to a martini [style cocktail].”
Making a Martini Style Cocktail Using Super Lemon Haze
Calling it a “very delicate, spirit-driven profile,” Matt Chavez aimed to produce a straightforward creation that highlights Super Lemon Haze’s terpene profile. He explained that his take would take on a “spirit sort of cocktail garnished with a little bit of terpene on top that just marries in with the cocktail and the flavor.” Going back to his opening point, Chavez emphasized what consumers will get from his concoction. “You definitely get a ton of aroma.”
These aromas include dashes of grapefruit bitters to compliment the Super Lemon Haze, as well as the French gentian aperitif Suze. Chavez chose the aperitif for its bitter lemon, high astringent herbal profile that he called very bitter. Other ingredients include a small bit of St. Germain and the more acidic and dry Fino sherry. The cocktails base will also be split with the floral Blanc Vermouth.
Consumers should expect an easy drinking experience from this take on Super Lemon Haze. Additionally, its alcohol content won’t have anyone ending the night early. Overall, Chavez detailed his creation as a cocktail that “is going to be something that’s going to be very easy drinking. It’s not going to knock your socks off. It’s gonna have these nice delicate profiles of just a little bit of salts, little bit of floral and then a lot of bitter lemon.”
How Was Working with Super Lemon Haze?
Looking back at his experience with the terpene, Matt enjoyed the challenge the cocktail presented. Calling his take a bit more of a challenging approach, Chavez found a way to showcase Super Lemon Haze’s “strong, strong aromatics.” One of his favorite aspects of the experience was discovering how the mixing of flavors played together.
As Matt asked himself when making the cocktail, “What can people expect when they take some whiffs off the glass?”
In this case, it’s a lot of citrus aromatics.
He also points out the vast world of options a terpene profile like Super Lemon Haze provides mixologists. One idea that immediately came to mind was gin. “Gin is a ton of just pine, citrus, lemon peel, very herbal. That’s going to marry just perfectly with the Super Lemon Haze.” Beyond gin, Chavez points out that “this is going to work well with very easy classics and it’s going to just change that and make it it’s own.”
Ready to give Matt’s recipe a shot? Here’s how you can make your own.
2 drops of grapefruit bitters
Add one drop of Super Lemon Haze
1 tablespoon of aperitif
.5 St. Germain
1 fino sherry
1.5 Chambery blanc vermouth
Rinse Nick and Nora glass with two drops of Super Lemon Haze
Stir drink, then pour into glass
Ready for the Super Lemon Haze challenge? Will you go traditional or push to step outside the lemon box?