vodka

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Rosemary, named ‘dew of the sea’ by Pliny the Elder, symbolized love, loyalty, friendship and remembrance. Its forest-like scent seduces even the mythical elves, and forms the heart of this elixir. Orange blossom honey and matcha (Japanese green tea powder) are woven into this understated tapestry, while the classic peach bitters and smoothest vodka complete the encounter. Fall in love with “Ever After”.

1 serving

Ingredients

3 ounces of rosemary green tea mix (see recipe below)
1/2 ounce of orange blossom honey
1 ounce of premium vodka (recommended: wheat-based vodka)
5 dashes of peach bitters
Tray of spring water ice cubes

For the rosemary green tea mix:
1/4 teaspoon of matcha (Japanese green tea powder)
1 cup of spring water
1 sprig of organic fresh rosemary

For the spring water ice cubes:
At least 17 ounces (a small bottle) of spring water for a tray of large ice cubes

Total: about 5 ounces per serving (guide for glassware)

Equipment

Kettle
Clear film for food wrap
Teacup
Fine sieve
Teaspoon
3-piece Cobbler shaker
Glass bottle (at least 7 ounces in capacity)
Cocktail glass (6 ounces), for service

Preparation

Chill the glassware and vodka until ready for use, preferably storing the vodka in the freezer. Wrap the spring water ice cubes with a clear film before placing in the freezer (this minimizes absorption of other aromas from the fridge).

Prepare the rosemary green tea mix:
Select a long (about 4 inches) sprig of rosemary, ensuring that it is in good condition and free from blemishes. Wash rosemary thoroughly, and gently crush it with your hands before placing it into the bottom of the teacup. Sift the required amount of matcha (using a teaspoon to push the powder through) into the teacup to remove any lumps.

Boil the spring water and put aside the required amount in a measuring cup. While still quite hot, though not boiling, pour into the teacup. Stir well using the teaspoon (bamboo whisks specially designed for this purpose are available — they are mainly used in the Japanese tea ceremony), and infuse rosemary in the teacup for 7-9 minutes. Discard the herb, and leave the rosemary green tea mix aside to cool. Refrigerate until ready for use.

Prepare the cocktail:
Measure the required amount of the various ingredients into the Cobbler shaker.

Top up the Cobbler shaker (about 3/4 full) with the spring water ice cubes. Attach the top half with the built-in strainer, followed by the cap/lid (sequence prevents too much trapped air inside). Shake & chill cocktail shaker with firm, concise and vigorous strokes until your hands can’t take the cold.

Strain into the glassware, straight up.

[Flavor Impressionist’s notes: 1 ounce is equivalent to 30 milliliter (ml), 1/2 ounce is equivalent to 15 milliliter (ml), 3 ounces is equivalent to 90 milliliter (ml), 1/4 teaspoon is equivalent to 1.25 milliliter (ml), 1 dash is equivalent to 1.875 milliliter (ml) or 1/8 teaspoon, 5 dashes is equivalent to 9.375 milliliter (ml) or 5/8 teaspoon.]

Serve immediately.

Variation

Try it as a mocktail simply by removing the vodka element in the recipe design.

One might also use Japanese green tea in sachets if the matcha is unavailable, though the former is recommended.

Recipe and photo by Damian Sim
INSPIRATION FOR EVER AFTER
BY DAMIAN SIM

With the focus on a single ingredient this month, we present the herb rosemary, or “Rosmarinus.” Derived from the Latin name for “dew of the sea” And named by the ancient Roman Pliny ‘the Elder’ (23-79AD), rosemary originally thrived along the coastal regions of France and Spain, where the salty winds and the sea slapped the rock face. This southern European herb symbolized love, loyalty and friendship in ancient Greece and Egypt, and was even believed to drive away evil spirits. Another tale reveals its allure to the mythical elves.

Since antiquity, rosemary was used in aid of memory, beginning with the ancient Greeks when they were studying for their exams. From the late 16th century, it began to be used as a form of remembrance in Europe (e.g. in funerals). Even the Bard mentions this traditional belief; in Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, Ophelia says to Laertes: “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance.” (Act IV, Scene 5)

The enigmatic herb possess a pungent aroma somewhat akin to pine, and somehow evocative of both the forest and the sea. This ‘turquoise feel’ inspired a companion in the premium Japanese green tea powder, matcha. Revered since the 12th century among the Japanese elite, including the Samurai warriors, matcha exudes restraint, power and elegance.

This understated quality requires the sweet elements in the recipe to be softer so as not to be lost. Orange blossom honey, with its gentle citrus sheen, was chosen with this in mind. Held as an elixir since days of old, this nature’s treasure was actually made with only the nectar of the orange blossom, which reveals itself in a subtle glimpse on the palate. Just like the orange blossom, peach has a personality somehow sensuous and pure at the same time. This powerful touch, in the form of peach bitters, completes the heart of this cocktail, fortified with the smoothest vodka.

The use of bitters actually forms the original definition of what constitutes a cocktail, though rarely seen since the Prohibition period of the 1920s-30s in the United States. This recipe design hopes to stir further passion in the renaissance of the classics, while also remembering the delicate treasures of Mother Nature.

The overall sensation of subtlety, natural and restrained yet powerful like a deep memory, offers a flavor design you could slowly fall in love with. We present a lingering tale of the woods in “Ever After.”

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