Sometimes my profession requires me to concoct slinky elixirs from unique, high-quality ingredients. Trust me, it’s an incredibly tough life (insert hand swiftly wiping sweat from brow here).
One of my latest projects is an exciting collaboration with a new friend, Wendy, who owns an amazing, local tea company, Longevité. She offers only hand-plucked, artisanal world teas. Everything she sources is grown, harvested, and processed under strict organic growing conditions. She also offers hand-mixed specialty organic herbal infusions upon request.
It sounds to me as if we both have a pretty great gig.
Wendy recently shared a treasure trove of some of her teas with me. Over the next couple months, I’m going to be creating unique, original recipes using some of Longevité’s best.
This first month will feature recipes using the airy Dali Darjeeling black tea. Appropriately named the “champagne of teas”, its golden hue and floral aroma are backed up by astringent tannic qualities and a musky spiciness, referred to often as “muscatel” (a rich, sweet wine made from muscat grapes).
To properly kick off the project, I created a Darjeeling simple syrup for this jewel-toned cocktail I like to call The Darjeeling Darling.
- 1/2 cup steeped Dali Darjeeling tea
- 1/2 cup organic sugar
- 2 organic blood oranges
- 3 large organic strawberries
- 1/3 cup black cherry concentrate
- 2 ounces vodka
* Note: You will have enough simple syrup and fruit purée for several cocktails. This recipe will make enough to fill a small (standard) martini glass. For a larger glass, simply double the recipe.
To make the simple syrup, combine the brewed tea with sugar in a small saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and cook until the sugar is completely dissolved, stirring occasionally, about 3-4 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a blender, add the juice of the blood oranges, strawberries and black cherry concentrate. Blend until well-combined. Strain purée through a fine mesh sieve, discarding any seeds.
Add a handful of ice to a cocktail shaker. To that, add 1 ounce Darjeeling simple syrup, 3 ounces of fruit purée and 2 ounces vodka. Shake vigorously until very cold.
Pour into your desired glass and serve immediately.