Bartender making a cocktail.

Station House Cafe’s earthy, refreshing take on a classic cocktail.

Icon of cocktail glass.

Jen Warren, bartender at Station House Cafe in Point Reyes Station, is muddling simple syrup, fresh mint and lime. “This brings out the flavors,” she explains.

As she’s speaking, the bright, sunny aromas of mint and lime wash over us, evoking memories of tropical vacations and long summer nights.

“This is a perfect Spring and Summer cocktail. It’s refreshing, and the Chartreuse, which is a herbal liqueur, gives it an earthy quality.”

She gets the mint fresh from the Station House Cafe garden. The simple syrup is made in house.

Station House Cafe’s Chartreuse Mojito

Muddle together fresh lime, mint and simple syrup to release flavors
Add ice
Add Chartreuse
Finish with soda water and stir

The name mojito is said to derive from the West African word mojo, meaning to cast a spell.

If so, it’s entirely apt. Replacing the traditional rum with Chartreuse elevates this cocktail, adding spice and vegetal notes, and a hint of sophistication.

Chartreuse is made with a variety of herbs, such as lemon verbena, lemon balm, fennel, angelica, sage, scented geranium, lemongrass, thyme, chamomile. The spicy notes come from star anise, cloves, nutmeg, mace, cinnamon and saffron.

“As the legend goes, only two people in the world — at any given time — can hold the responsibility of memorizing the secret recipe for Chartreuse.

“I’m so glad they do.”

–Sheryl Cahill

From Paris to Point Reyes

Sheryl Cahill, owner of Station House Cafe, took her then-16-year-old son, Miles, on an adventure to Paris in the fall of 2008 — during the last weeks leading up to the 2008 election of President Barack Obama.

“Parisians were as giddy as we were with the prospect of Mr. Obama in the White House,” Sheryl recalls.

The two were exploring the city when they suddenly found themselves in a massive downpour, and ducked into the nearest cafe. It was a wonderful, old building, as buildings mostly go in Paris, and they made their way down to the underground dining area to wait out the storm.

“It was on that menu that I first heard of taking the ancient and secret-blend elixir of Grenoble, Chartreuse, and mixing it up with a Cuban twist….et voila: Chartreuse Mojito. Not only was it delicious, but also it is the flavor of a very special and sentimental memory.”

Try making this at home. Or better yet, head over to Station House Cafe and enjoy a classic or seasonal cocktail.

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