I’m taking a bit of artistic license with a well-known literary caterpillar, the cantankerous and confusing, hookah loving mushroom dweller from Alice in Wonderland. Merely a black and white ink drawing by John Tennial in the original, the caterpillar became distinctly blue after receiving the Disney treatment in 1951. He even got a name, finally, with the 2010 remake by Tim Burton: Absolem. It has a nice ring to it. Very Faulknerian. I couldn’t find just the right “caterpillar” cocktail which already existed to pair with the incredible “Caterpillar Box” from American artist Kagen Sound, so I made a new one, which hits all the right notes. The drink is based off the modern classic “Naked and Famous” from Joaquin Simo. The base spirit of mezcal is perfectly smoky for this hookah toking tease, and the balance of lightly bitter Cocchi Americano and complex and confusing Chartreuse merge perfectly to complete the reference. I added a touch of blue curacao as well, which does add a nice hint of orange, but really just to get the color right. It’s absolutely, absolemly delicious. Cheers!


Absolem Absolem!

¾ oz mezcal

¾ oz fresh lime

¾ oz Cocchi Americano

¾ oz Yellow Chartreuse

¼ oz blue curacao

Shake together with ice and strain into a favorite glass. Adorn with a hookah smoking caterpillar brandy cherry garnish, or just a lemon peel.


To learn more about the stunning Caterpillar box see:

Boxes and Booze: Metaphors of Metamorphosis

For the original Naked and Famous cocktail see:

Boxes and Booze: Going Topless