For the latest edition of HOW TO we’ve teamed up with the wonderful London Tea Club to present a very special recipe for a speciality tea-infused cocktail. If you’re unfamiliar with what London Tea Club’s all about and fancy finding out more about their delightful teas and exclusive member service, not to mention their downright beautiful presentation skills, have a read of this.
Now, although the weather is still bitingly cold, there’s hope in the air. We can confirm that sunlight does actually exist and that Spring, however feebly, is on its way. We decided that we’d whip up something a little fresher and fruitier than last month’s warming absinthe-laced Castle Dip Cocktail, so have created a recipe to give you that spring feeling, with the added bonus of calming, delicious tea-infusion.
Tea has a historical reputation due to its medicinal properties and ceremonial status so characteristically, this is one recipe that calls for a little patience and respect, if you want to get it right. The first step is infusing your booze with a light green-coloured tea, sourced by Cecelia the founder of London Tea Club, called Ali Shan Oolong Tea.
For the Infused Gin
1/2 a vial of London Tea Club Oolong tea
250 ml Gin (you won’t use all of this for a single cocktail so make sure you have another bottle handy)
A jam jar big enough for the infusion to take place in
This mixture combines the floral aromas of the gin and oolong tea, creating a light green alcohol that tastes delicate and natural, and packs a powerful punch. Something a little out of the ordinary, it’s likely that once you’ve tasted it, you’ll want to try again and again. Combine the two ingredients in the jar and leave to infuse overnight. Make sure that you screw the lid on tightly to ensure that no air can reach your tea infused gin. Turn the jar gently after it has been sitting all night and then leave for a further two hours out of direct sunlight. We recommend making your gin infusion a couple of days before you plan to make the cocktail so that your mixture has had time to settle. Don’t put it in the fridge as this might mess with the flavour. The Oolong beads will gently unravel as they become soaked with gin, and the gin in turn will take on their distinctive taste.
For the London Tea Club Oolong Fields Cocktail
36ml of your delicious Oolong infused Gin
20ml Lemon Juice (we recommend that you squeeze this from fresh, it tastes way better)
12.5ml St Germain (pick this up from your local booze store. It comes in quite large bottles which look very beautiful but if you’re unsure about splashing out on a vast quantity, pick up a non-alcoholic elderflower cordial from the shops instead.)
Soda Water (you can take or leave this ingredient depending on how strong you’d like your drink to be)
A sprinkling of London Tea Club Oolong Tea
This is a delicate drink so only requires a gentle shake. We know that not everyone has a professional cocktail set lying around so carefully decant your Oolong gin into a bottle and then measure 36 ml of it out through a sieve to pour back into the jar. This is the basis of your blossom cocktail and should have no bits in it.
Next add your lemon juice and St Germain (or elderflower cordial depending on your preference). Add a few cubes of ice to the mixture and screw the jar’s lid on very tightly. Then give the jar a shake, mixing the ingredients together. Gently shake the jar until it begins to feel a little too cold to hold on to, then stop. The finished drink’s colour is similar to that of the freshly brewed Oolong should be a lovely light green. Sample a sip and add more elderflower or lemon to taste.
What happens next is up to you. If you like a strong drink similar to a flavoursome martini, pour your mixture into a glass, sprinkle a teeny among of Oolong onto the surface, and enjoy your cocktail. If you’re after something that might go down a little easier, add a few cubes of ice to your jar, top with soda water and add a wedge of lemon to the rim of the jar to garnish.
We served up something very similar using pink gin at YOUNG GOLD TEETH’s last event and it went down a treat. Jam jars are the ultimate cheat-apparatus. Let us know how you get on and remember to tag us in your Instagram snaps of this delicious drink too. Our warmest thanks to London Tea Club for teaming up with us to create a very special creative cocktail.
Words: Emily Beeson | @younggoldteeth