Now under the guidance of bar manager Chelsea Gregoire, the bar staff at Dooby's in Mount Vernon continues its nimble and free-spirited approach to classic cocktails.
The cocktail list has been recently updated, and two cocktails have been retired. But the best parts of each of them live on in a new cocktail, the Champs de Charles, Dooby's adaptation of the Champs-Elysees, a fine old cocktail named for the magnificent Parisian boulevard.
The idea of adding a variation to the Champs-Elysees started with bartender David Kalwa, who suggested it to Gregoire. "I liked that is a cross between the Last Word and the Sidecar. I thought it was a good idea to combine them into a third classic cocktail."
Gregoire tasted the classic recipe that Kalwa sent her but thought it needed a little something. She decided to add cynar, a popular Italian bitter liqueur made from artichoke.
And, sure enough, the classic version of the Champs-Elysees includes essential ingredients from the Last Word (green chartreuse) and from the Sidecar (cognac) as well as an ingredient found in both. The drink is more subtle than its ingredients would suggest. The addition of an amaro, or bitter liqueur, can sometime overwhelm the first sip, but the cynar's presence in the Champs de Charles is understated, balanced by the chartreuse and the dash of simple syrup.
It's a great drink for ending the evening — the amaro acts as a digestif — but its slight bitterness makes it pair well with chef Timothy Dyson's sweet and spicy Asian-influenced entrees.
Gregoire suggests trying the Champs de Charles with the spicy gochujang ramen broth or the pork buns with their sweet soy-caramel sauce.
It's a sophisticated cocktail, perfect for sipping at one of the window seats at Dooby's, where you can look out on Charles Street — Baltimore's version of the Champs-Elysees.
How To Make the Champs de Charles
1 3/4 oz. cognac
1/2 oz. chartreuse
3/4 oz. lemon juice
1/4 oz. cynar
Simple syrup to taste
Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker, shake vigorously with ice. Fine strain into a chilled coupe glass. With the peel facing you, twist the essence of an orange peel slice into the cocktail and garnish with the orange slice.
Where to get the Champs de Charles
802 N. Charles St., Mount Vernon