Like most gin based cocktails, the Green Dragon drink can be a bit of an acquired taste. In addition to the juniper/herbal flavor of the gin, the Green Dragon features a touch of creme de menthe, and uses Kummel (an herbal liqueur) and orange bitters as a marrying ingredients to blend those two powerful flavors together.
The end result is a strong herbal flavor that keeps you intrigued until you get used to it. Let’s be clear: not everyone’s going to love this drink. Kummel has some strong flavors, like caraway seed and fennel. It’s sweet, but with notes of black licorice or anise. This cocktail doesn’t call for very much of it, but the notes are still in there, and to some people those flavors can be overwhelming.
There are a number of different brands that make Kummel, so it’s not usually that hard to find. But if you’re unable to get your hands on any, I have good news and bad news for you. The bad news is: there aren’t any really good substitutes. The good news is: you can make Kummel at home. It’s basically a gin infusion, and you might even prefer to make it yourself you can tinker with the recipe and get the flavors just the way you like them.
This drink has a very complicated profile, so hearing it with foods is tricky. In this recipe for Traditional Sicilian Anise Citrus Cookies from Dash of Grace, anise and lemon bring out the same flavors in the drink.
If you find you like Kummel, try the Fleur-de-lys cocktail, which blends Kummel with peach schnapps and tonic water. And also the KGB cocktail, which has Kummel, gin, apricot brandy and lemon juice.
Green Dragon Drink Recipe
- 1 1/2 ounce gin
- 1/2 ounce Kummel
- 1/2 ounce green creme de menthe
- 1/2 lemon
- 4 dashes of orange bitters
Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake thoroughly and strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass.