Ever since I developed a tapioca pearl cocktail, I’ve been obsessed with finding ways to incorporate them into cocktails. This drink is a bit of a mashup of traditional milk boba teas and a classic Tom Collins, with the hop water and elderflower providing some of the same botanical elements that a gin might. The light florality is an intriguing counterpart to the dairy and tapioca elements here. If you’d prefer to use an alcoholic elderflower liqueur such as St-Germain, just note that those products bring a bit more acidity to the table in contrast to the nonalcoholic syrups, so the finished drink will read more acidic, too.
- 1/3 cup tapioca pearls
- 12 ounces chilled hop water
- 1 1/4 ounces elderflower syrup, such as Monin (or elderflower liqueur such as St-Germain)
- 1 ounce evaporated milk (unsweetened)
- Prepare the tapioca pearls according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Pour the hop water into a chilled tall glass.
- In a cocktail shaker, combine the elderflower syrup (or liqueur, if using) and evaporated milk.
- Dry-shake for 3 to 5 seconds to combine, then pour over the hop water.
- Add the tapioca pearls and serve with a bubble tea straw.