While Nikolas Zoylinos was applying to London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, he drank a steady stream of tea for his vocals, often blending three favorites. That tea combination became the inspiration for this drink, which plays off the gin with base notes of dried herbs and spice. Scotch adds a smoky depth, leavened by milk-washed dry vermouth—cream being a classic tea pairing, and a way to soften tannins. The citrus notes from the orange bitters, lemon juice and lemon peel provide balance and freshness, and a savory pinch of salt ties everything together.
- 2 parts Bombay Sapphire gin
- 1 2/3 parts fermented three-tea blend
- 2/3 parts milk-washed dry vermouth (see Editor’s Note)
- 3 dashes smoky whisky, such as Ardbeg 10 Year
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- 1/2 parts lemon juice
- 1 dash salt
Garnish: lemon peel
- Combine all ingredients in a shaker, fill with ice, and throw between shakers until chilled.
- Strain into a glass over a hand-chipped block of ice.
- Express lemon peel over top and discard.
Milk-washed dry vermouth
10 ounces dry vermouth
5 ounces full-fat milk
3.4 ounces unstrained lemon juice
1.7 ounces sherry
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Leave for 6 hours to blend.
2. Clarify using coffee filters to strain, one drip at a time.
3. Add vanilla extract.
Fermented three-tea blend
5 bags of Assam tea
5 bags of Ceylon tea
5 bags of green tea
2 teaspoons of citric acid
10 fresh rose petals
0.1 ounce dried lemon balm
4 drops of cherry blossom essence
1 lemon peel
34 ounces hot water
1 teaspoon champagne yeast
16 ounces white sugar
1. Combine all ingredients except yeast and sugar, and steep for 15 minutes.
2. Add yeast and let sit for 10 days at room temperature.
3. Add sugar to remaining liquid and stir (no heating required) to create syrup. Store in bottle and keep refrigerated.