Tea mocktails. Testing out Smith Teamaker white tea mocktail recipe
I tried the Silver Lining white tea mocktail recipe by Portland-based Smith Teamaker. Here’s what happened.
The recipe for the Silver Lining tea mocktail by Smith Teamaker immediately caught my attention. I love the play on words, since it is a white tea mocktail with Yunnan Silver Needle. I found the recipe incredibly inventive. In general, it is very rare to find white tea in cocktails and mocktails, just because it’s so challenging to achieve a balance of flavors where the tea doesn’t completely disappear. The original recipe includes a housemade habanero simple syrup, but I chose to substitute it because I am very sensitive to spicy hot flavors (spicy hot is not technically a flavor but a sensation detected by the trigeminal nerve) and the instructions recommend making it in “a well-ventilated area”. I was afraid I was going to end up with the equivalent of full-strength pepper spray in my kitchen and my eyes! So I did a little research on the flavor of habanero and discovered that it is actually quite complex, fruity and floral. The closest combination I came up with is black peppercorns and grains of paradise; the former provide heat, whereas the latter burst with floral and fruity notes. My rocks glasses are pretty large so I doubled the recipe, except for the tea which I tripled, and halved the sweetness. The result is an incredibly balanced drink with an amazing white tea aftertaste that lingers. Yum!
Here’s the original recipe.
And below is my take on it. I think whoever developed this recipe is onto something! Kudos!
Ingredients for 1 mocktail:
4 ½ oz. Yunnan Silver Needle concentrate (recipe below)
1 oz. black pepper and grapefruit simple syrup (recipe below)
4 oz. freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 stick of cinnamon
The method is the same of the original recipe. Rim a rocks glass with salt and set aside. Fill glass with crushed ice and garnish with thin strips of grapefruit zest. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into glass. Light a cinnamon stick on fire (I did it outdoors and please be careful with fire!) and set it on the crushed ice. Serve still smoking. I love the addition of the olfactory dimension! Personally, I was not a fan of the salt rim on this one but feel free to experiment and find what works for you.
Yunnan Silver Needle concentrate:
8 gr (3 tablespoons approx.) loose leaf Yunnan Silver Needle
8 oz (236 ml) water at 190 F (88 C)
Steep for 3 minutes. Strain and re-steep the same tea leaves once more for 4 minutes. Let cool.
Black pepper and grapefruit simple syrup:
½ teaspoon each lightly crushed black peppercorns and grains of paradise
½ cup (118 ml) water
½ cup granulated sugar
Thin strips of grapefruit zest to taste
Similar method as the original recipe, but with a few swaps. Add water, grapefruit zest, black peppercorns and grains of paradise into a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, add sugar and stir until combined. Remove from heat, cover and let sit for 1 hour. Strain into a clean jar, date and refrigerate.
What tea recipe should I test next? Let me know in the comments.