October is infusion month, and what better way to kick it off than with the world’s easiest infusion?
This cocktail was intended to showcase one of the easiest infusions there is: making a tea syrup. It’s so easy that you might not even realize it’s an infusion!
How to Make a Tea Syrup:
First, make tea. Follow the directions on your tea package, but use 4x the amount of tea. This will increase the strength of the infusion without introducing bitterness.
Allow to steep for the time recommended by the tea package, once again. Don’t be tempted to let it infuse longer in search of a deeper infusion. While you may get away with a bit of extra time, it doesn’t take long for over-infused tea to become bitter.
Strain your tea mixture. (If you’re using tea bags you won’t need to strain, but loose-leaf tea will.) Use a fine mesh strainer like this one* to strain out all of the tea bits.
Create the syrup. Following the same ratio as Simple Syrup, add the same amount of sugar as you have liquid. In our example we created 8oz of syrup so we added 8oz (1 cup) of sugar. Since it’s probably still warm, it should dissolve pretty quickly
Allow to cool before using in a cocktail. You don’t need the tea to be fridge-cold, but you don’t want to be mixing hot syrup into your shaker. (It’ll cause your ice to melt more than the recipe intended, and create a watered down drink.) Once it’s room temperature you’re free to mix!
*Yep, that’s ours! Use code “infusionmonth” all through October for 15% off!
Making a Tea Syrup Cocktail
Chris dug through our tea box (yes, we have a tea box.. is that normal?) and found an amazing Passionfruit Jasmine tea from the Art of Tea. Knowing we’d start with that, he decided to make a gin + tea variant on the Old Fashioned. This cocktail is a great place to start because there are so few ingredients, which means it’s really going to highlight the tea.
We followed the instructions above and made the tea syrup, then made an Old Fashioned, but…
- Replaced the whiskey with Gin (We used a sample of Freeland Spirits’ Gin. I was wooed by the beautiful bottle but the Gin is actually fantastic! Thanks guys 🙂 )
- Replace the sugar + water with our infused syrup
- Replace the Angostura Bitters with Barrel Aged Orange bitters (We used this one. It’s Fee Brother’s and has a gin base, which is perfect.)
Scroll down for the full recipe!
So… How is it?
This cocktail came out so good! It’s all about the floral qualities, and every component has its own contribution. The gin is bright and citrusy with a vibrant floral nose. The tea is super floral and especially aromatic. And the barrel aged bitters add another layer of citrus and aroma.
If you have the ingredients (or any floral style of tea), I would give this one a try! It’s a great first foray into the world of infusions for cocktails, and I think it’d be hard to go wrong.