Tuesday, January 27, 2015

tea smash

4 oz Black Tea (here, our house iced tea), cooled to room temperature
3/4 oz Honey Syrup (1:1)
3 wedge Lemon
6-8 leaf Mint

Muddle the lemon wedges and lightly muddle the mint in a Double Old Fashioned glass. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to mix. Fill with crushed ice and stir again. Garnish with mint sprigs bound by a long lemon twist, and add straws.
After discussing with a guest how the Whiskey Mint Smash made most famous here in Boston at Eastern Standard was one of the best introductions to whiskey drinks (for non-whiskey drinkers) in town, I began to ponder the Smash as a mocktail structure. Recalling the Tea Julep I had made years ago (which I will repost here in a few days), I decided to give the idea of a Tea Smash a whirl. Instead of simple syrup used in most Smashes, I opted for honey syrup to complement the tea flavors and to donate extra flavor notes to the mix. While I wanted to keep the traditional mint sprigs as a garnish, I remembered the garnish for Colin Shearn's Archipelago Swizzle where the sprigs were bound by a long, thin lemon twist. Besides being attractive, it does add some delightful lemon oils to the bouquet. Here, it was hard to take a good picture of the drink and show off the lemon twist though given the short but leafy mint fronds I was working with. Flavorwise, there were no surprises to me with tea flavors being fattened up by the honey, brightened by the lemon juice, and accented by the mint. To the hosts that received this one, they were rather pleased with the flavor complexity within.

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