Tuesday, January 26, 2010

earl grey marteani

1 1/2 oz Earl Grey-infused Tanqueray Gin
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1 Egg White

Shake once without ice and once with. Garnish with a lemon twist.
After the Nouveau Vague show at the Somerville Theater on Sunday night, Andrea and I went down to Green Street for drinks. The drink I asked bartender Derric Crothers to make for me first, the Earl Grey MarTEAni, was invented by Audrey Saunders of the Pegu Club in Manhattan. There were three reasons why I selected this particular drink. The first was that I had never had it before and working my way through the Green Street's six page A-to-Z cocktail menu is an informal goal. The second was that it was the eve of Mixology Monday and a tea drink would be in solidarity with the last minute Mixology Monday participants who were wildly mixing away at their home bars (my entry had been started on Monday and tasted on Friday though, so I was free to play elsewhere). And the third was that this drink had made the news recently for a rather absurd reasons. Last week, a Department of Health official was inspecting the Pegu Club, and despite the standard warnings about raw eggs and health on the menu, he declared that using raw eggs in drinks was a violation. Eggs are generally pretty safe with about one egg in twenty thousand containing salmonella (and fewer that would contain enough bacteria to get a person sick). I have no clue how many bacteria would even survive the alcohol pickling and citrus acid attack in many egg drinks, but the official made the decree that the Pegu Club had to start using pasteurized egg whites which to the bar's chagrin do not work as well as raw ones in cocktails. Here in Boston, we apparently live on the edge, and I was able to get the Earl Grey Marteani as Audrey envisioned it.

To make the tea-flavored gin, about 4 tablespoons of Earl Grey should be infused in a 750 mL bottle of gin for 2 hours before straining (if the infusion goes longer, the gin will extract bitter flavors in addition to the black tea and bergamot flavors). In essence, the drink is a standard gin sour with some bonus tea flavors on the swallow which help to dry out the sweetness. The egg white donated a gorgeous foam and a delightfully thick mouthfeel to the drink which I can safely say made this drink quite exquisite.

1 comment:

Forest said...

I like this drink fine, but I think I might one of the only people who has a bit of an issue with it (purely a personal taste issue) I haven't had it at the Pegu, but I've made it at home (strictly following Audrey's recipe) and i find it too bergamot. I've also ordered it in cocktail bar in London (wondering if a professional will make it better than little ol me). It was less tea-tasting & those guys there (it was at portobello star) were telling me they don't let the tea infuse for the full time suggested. I think that might be the way I'll go. (with the prior batch I made, I ended up doing a 1/2 tea-infused, 1/2 plain gin mixture for the cocktail)