Monday, December 6, 2010

pu-erh flip

2 1/2 oz "Zombie" Rum Mix (*)
1 oz Pu-erh Tea Syrup
1 Egg

Shake once without ice and once with. Double strain into a rocks glass and garnish the froth with Bitter Truth's Jerry Thomas Decanter Bitters.
(*) Neisson Rhum Agricole Blanc, Barbancourt, Old Monk

Two Sundays ago, Ben Sandrof was hosting another one of his speakeasy-like Sunday Salons in town. Last time, he did not have time to make the tea syrups he promised, so I had to settle for a drink with tea-infused Bourbon instead. However, this time he had both a Pu-erh and a Lapsang Souchong syrup with the former being more funky and earthy and the latter being rather smokey. For my first drink, I chose the Pu-erh Flip off of the menu while Andrea went with the Lapsang Souchong-laden 7:16 L.S. Cocktail. Pu-erh is a strange tea in that it can be classified both as a green tea in terms of oxidation and as a fermented one; indeed, a variety of microorganisms help to ripen the leaves into something quite unique.
The flip's aroma was of the rum and allspice from the bitters. The sip was a delightful combination of rum and a malty flavor; when it was cold, this maltiness came across almost like Guinness Stout. After a few sips, I asked Ben if I could taste the tea syrup alone to sort out the flavors I was experiencing. I was quite surprised at how creamy the syrup and enjoyed its delightful green tea notes. Moreover, there was some sort of spice note on the swallow combined with a funkiness that reminded me of the Cynar Flip. As the drink warmed up, the drink got a little sharper from the tea's tannins, and the rhum agricole in the rum blend became more prominent; indeed, the rhum's grassy notes complemented the green tea flavors rather well.

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