Nobody knows why this drink is named after the chilliest state in the US. It first appeared in The Savoy Cocktail Book, where author Harry Craddock says only that “it was probably first thought of in South Carolina hence its name,” which is pretty confusing.
Since there are only two ingredients in this drink, the gin you choose will have a profound effect on the resulting balance. Tanquery works better than Bombay, we think (and master mixologist Gary Regan agrees). We don’t recommend using a floral gin like Hendricks here; it fights too much with the herbal flavors of the herbal liqueur.
Craddock calls for yellow Chartreuse, but we’ve had great success trying it with gentian-forward liqueurs like Suze and Strega.
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail or coupé glass.