This cocktail is an epicurean experience designed with figs in mind, inspired by their mention in the Garden of Eden. This gentle libation comprises notes of elderberry that seduce the palate while the other flavors blend deceptively behind into a delicious orange hue; the Earl Grey tea and carrot complete the “garden flavor.”
For the Earl Grey tea:
8 ounces/ 1 cup of boiling water
2 bags of Earl Grey tea
For the vanilla cane syrup:
1 cup cane sugar
1 cup water
1 vanilla pod
For the drink:
1 ounce vanilla-flavored vodka
2 ½ ounces Earl Grey tea
1/3 ounce elderberry syrup
1/3 ounce vanilla cane syrup
2/3 ounce carrot juice
Total: at least 5 ounces (guide for glassware)
Baby carrot, for garnish
Cocktail Shaker (3-piece)
Rock glass (7-9 ounces), for service
Chill the ingredients and glassware in the refrigerator.
Prepare the Earl Grey tea:
Infuse two bags of Earl Grey tea into the freshly boiled hot water for ten minutes, which serves to increase the tannin and intensity of flavor. Remove the tea bags and leave to cool. Chill in the refrigerator for at least thirty minutes before use if possible.
Prepare the vanilla syrup:
Make a simple syrup by combining the cane sugar, vanilla pod and water in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Chill in the refrigerator for at least thirty minutes before use if possible. This syrup will keep for two weeks in a sealed airtight container.
[Mixologist’s Note: You can remove the vanilla pod after infusing the syrup, wipe dry with a paper towel, and reserve for another use. We like to keep our extra vanilla beans in a sealed container of sugar.]
Make the cocktail:
Garnish the glassware with a carrot along the rim, and place the cocktail ingredients into the shaker.
Top up cocktail shaker (about ¾ full) with ice cubes, preferably with the largest possible. Shake and chill the cocktail shaker with firm, concise and vigorous strokes until your hands can’t take the cold.
Strain into glassware that has been filled with large pieces of fresh ice.
Recipe and photo by Damian Sim
INSPIRATION FOR GARDEN TEMPTATIONS
BY DAMIAN SIM
One of the most interesting aspects about this theme was that figs were mentioned in the Garden of Eden – and some say they might even be the “forbidden fruit”!
From the garden, the ideas of English tea and secret affairs bloomed. The Garden of Eden also alludes to the very beginning of temptations, and a time of innocence. The rabbit comes to mind, thus the choice of greens.
Earl Grey tea was chosen for its bergamot citrus element, and for its familiarity in the Western world. The tannin from the tea also offers a “tight” dimension to an otherwise gentle culinary experience.
An uncommon culinary ingredient in Asia, elderberry presented an alluring lead, while a harmonious cast quietly supports it. Together with Earl Grey tea and carrot, the floral, citrus and green elements were woven into the “garden flavor.”
The orangey-brown hue is evocative of fruits – delicious; while the brown echoes of nature. Thus, we arrive at the “Garden Temptations” cocktail, the tempting companion to the “forbidden fruit,” figs.