So, there's this thing called Mixology Monday, in which online cocktail enthusiasts exchange wisdom about mixed drinks. This month's challenge was to come up with a winning concoction involving tea, and I thought I'd dip in my oar.
Rooibos is not technically a tea at all, but fortunately the design brief permitted other infusions (known as tisanes, apparently), so I immediately fell upon my box of Rooibos Vanilla, which I insist tastes like custard. The only vanilla-ey bottle in my collection was the brandy-based Tuaca liqueur, which also hints at orange, and that reminded me of a lovely rum blazer I'd had at a Soho bar a couple of years ago, which used orange peel to great effect, prompting me to pull out my Havana Club (Anejo Reserva). A little more sweetness was needed, triggering the triple sec, with an orange twist to underline the point.
90ml (3oz) Rooibos Vanilla tea 30ml (1oz) golden rum
15ml (0.5oz) Tuaca
15ml (0.5oz) triple sec
Steep one Rooibos Vanilla teabag in about 4oz of boiling water for a good five minutes to make the most of it. While it's stewing, pour the rum, Tuaca and triple sec into a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice. Add 3oz of (still hot) tea and stir well to make everything cold. Strain into a delicate-looking glass and garnish with an orange twist, taking care to spray the surface with a good deal of oil from the peel.
This is a most partakable brew tasting of vanilla and orange and - is that caramel? Easy to drink (not too sweet, not too bitter), just about enough booze to count, and, crucially, it doesn't taste like cold tea. If anyone's willing to give it a try I'd love to hear their comments. But first, go to CocktailVirgin, the host of this month's episode of MxMo, and see what delightful drinks the experts have conjured.