Amid all the end of school mayhem — concerts, plays, graduations, visitors, not to mention tedious driving-test obligations — and just before leaving for a boisterous and fun summer in Brittany, I made cocktails.
I may have mentioned that some years ago, somewhat by chance, I developed a fascination for cocktails. I spent an awful lot of nights in the then very timid cocktail-bar offerings in New York, engaged in earnest conversations with bartenders about obscure drinks, bitters and spirits, latest creations. So when Tick Tock tea company approached me recently to develop tea-based cocktails with their Tick Tock and Dragonfly brews, I was immediately excited. I didn’t expect the process to be quite as fun, engaging, challenging, and, ultimately, rewarding, as it turned out to be.
It is no secret that tea is a choice ingredient for mixologists, most often used to infuse a spirit, usually gin. I used this method in the Moonlight Flight, a riff on the Aviation, which was always one of my favorite cocktails. Dragonfly’s Moonlight Jasmine tea here transforms the austere classic into a delicate, subtly floral drink.
But I also used brewed tea in many mixes, and loved how it not only brightens stiffer drinks into fresher summer mixes, but also imparts layers and complexity.