Yellow Jacket

Adapted from Speakeasy by Jason Kosmas and Dushan Zaric

The Yellow Jacket cocktail was inspired by chance circumstances and a little harassment. For weeks, we had toyed with the idea of mixing together Partida Reposado tequila and St-Germain elderflower liqueur, but there was a piece of the puzzle missing. Then one evening, a bunch of obnoxious cocktail geeks came into Employees Only to stump the bartenders by ordering the Last Word cocktail. After being satisfied with that drink, they asked if we knew of another drink with Chartreuse. At that moment, Yellow Chartreuse became the ingredient needed to bind together the elderflower and tequila. So pretty and elegant, the rich yellow color grabs your attention. The true beauty of this drink, though, is the interplay of the ingredients. The light oak on the Partida Reposado tequila works so well with the St-Germain, and they in turn produce a perfect ground for Yellow Chartreuse to bring it all into balance. The orange bitters play a key role. This cocktail is similar in style to the Widow’s Kiss cocktail, as they both contain very sweet herbaceous ingredients balanced by high alcohol content. It’s named for the yellow jacket wasps that inhabit agave farms and tequila distilleries.

Reprinted with permission from Speakeasy by Jason Kosmas and Dushan Zaric. Copyright (c) 2010 by Jason Kosmas and Dushan Zaric. Photo (c) 2010 John Kernick. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.


Serving: 1

  • 2 ounces tequila, reposado
  • 1 ounce St. Germain, elderflower liqueur
  • 3/4 ounce yellow Chartreuse
  • 1 dash orange bitters, Regan's

Garnish: lemon peel

  1. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add ice and shake until chilled.
  3. Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass.
  4. Garnish with a lemon peel.