Tea is now a cocktail ingredient. As I am a fan of tea – and cocktails – this is a trend of which I approve.
Tea adds not only flavor, but a certain astringent and sometimes bitter quality that works well with some types of alcohol and sugar.
I was recently sent some recipes that utilize Bombay Sapphire Gin and tea, and I modified one that was supposed to use peach tea. I usually don't like peach tea (though I'm guessing Todd & Holland has some pretty good versions of the stuff in stock), so I used passion fruit tea. Here's how I made it:
- 1.5 ounces Bombay gin
- 3 ounces passion fruit tea (or really any fruit-based tea you have)
- .5 ounces simple syrup
- 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
- Lots of ice stirred in
The highly herbal flavors in gin mesh very well with fruit and sugar, and the lemon perks up the sip.
Simple syrup is simple to make, but if you want to make your life even simpler, just add some sugar to the tea when it's hot.
Every time I taste gin, I wonder why anyone bothers to drink vodka. Various gins have so much differentiation and dimension, but there's very little of that variety in vodka which seems, basically, to be jet fuel.