Monday, December 14, 2009

flapper jane

1 3/4 oz Plymouth Gin (Beefeater 24)
3/4 oz Wu Wei Syrup (2 parts tea:1 part sugar)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

On Saturday afternoon, Andrea and I went into the semi-new Sherman Market (around the corner from the Sherman Coffee Shop in Union Square, Somerville) to buy some locally harvested honey. While looking around the shop, my eyes were drawn to the jars of tea from Somerville master tea blenders, MEM Imports. The shopkeeper allowed us to smell a variety of the teas including an intriguing herbal one called Mt. Olympus. However, I opted for the Wu Wei which I had been wanting to get ever since Misty Kalkofen made Andrea a tasty drink using a Wu Wei syrup at Drink. Wu Wei is a blend of 7 herbs including licorice, hibiscus, and clove and is technically a tisane (contains no tea leaves) instead of a tea proper.
The Wu wei recipe I chose to make last night was the Flapper Jane, an original cocktail found in Boston LUPEC's Little Black Book of Cocktails. The recipe calls for a "Wu Wei infused simple syrup" which I interpreted as 2 parts of tea to one part of sugar (by volume) for it seemed the best amount of sweetness to match the volume of lemon juice in the recipe. Indeed, the proportions seemed to provide the balance I was looking to achieve (actually, a little sweeter than I had hoped for, but still pretty close and much better to my taste buds than the 1:1 ratio I would normally have gone with). The Wu Wei's hibiscus flower donated a gorgeous red color to the cocktail that was supplemented by the dash of Peychaud's bitters. For a gin, we have been out of Plymouth for a while (probably shortly after they dramatically increased the bottle price about a year ago) and I went with the tea- and citrus peel-forward Beefeater 24 to complement the other ingredients in the mix. Andrea seemed pretty pleased with the end result and my notes have her excited reaction as, "Wu Wei -- woo hoo!"

Read about LUPEC Boston's rationale for calling the drink the Flapper Jane here.

No comments: