Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Chinese New Year Cocktails

Having volunteered to make drinks to accompany our Chinese New Year celebrations I shamelessly fell back on the usual Asian clichés ingredients: lychee, ginger, green tea. And why not?

My task was made a great deal easier by the discovery of the fabulous 
Green Tea Gimlet on the Drink of the Week blog, a startlingly refreshing citrus cocktail that I hurriedly adapted and adopted. What follows is essentially the same drink except I infused my vodka with ginger to give it a further kick.

Ginger Green Tea Gimlet
(pictured above)

45ml (1.5oz) ginger-infused vodka*
30ml (1oz) green tea syrup**
23ml (0.75oz) fresh lemon juice

Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously for 20 seconds (you want as many tiny grains of ice in the drink as possible). Strain into cocktail glass and garnish with lemon wheel.

*To make ginger-infused vodka finely grate a teaspoon of fresh ginger into about 250ml of vodka. Shake bottle well and leave for 24 hours. Strain to remove bits before serving.

**To make the green tea syrup:

250ml (1 cup) water
250ml (1 cup) sugar
1 green tea bag

Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Pour into container and steep tea bag in the liquid for 6-7 minutes. Let cool. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Next up, I wanted to try a Chinese variation on the Kir Royale, and decided to replace the crème de cassis with lychee. Having exhausted myself making the previous drink I refused to worry about fresh lychees and used a tin for both the fruit and the syrup. The result, I'm told, was "amazing - lychee juice with bubbles".

Lychee Fizz (pictured below right)

45ml (1.5oz) lychee syrup
Sparkling wine
Lychee to garnish

Drop a lychee into a champagne flute before adding the lychee syrup and topping with chilled sparkling wine.

If I made it again I'd shove the tinned lychees and the syrup into a blender first and chill the resulting matter before serving to make the drink even more lychee-ee.

I may have tried to create a couple of other cocktails too - a lychee ginger martini, for one, along with a tiny shot of warm rum layered with a peculiar ginger foam, which I named the Tiger Tot. Let's just say they didn't quite make the cut. Until next year, then.


  1. may i suggest mixing your lychee blend with some good vodka. or soju to stay in the asian theme. just a thought.

  2. Good thought. I have just discovered soju is the same as shaojiu and shōchū. I feel another post coming on.