Besides my comfy bed, the thing I miss most after selling our home and all our stuff (to travel the world for a year) is access to a fully stocked liquor cabinet.
We always had spirits around for whipping up a weeknight Manhattan, Old Fashioned, or any variation of my favorite cocktail—a martini.
One of my favorite cocktail concoctions is a tea-infused martini. It’s so easy to infuse vodka or gin with a bold-flavored tea. The infused spirit adds a unique depth of flavor to a boozy beverage, and it only requires a few ingredients.
For this green-tea-ni I infused vodka with a heavenly Issaku Premium Green Tea. Issaku is such a special green tea that I felt slightly guilty for mixing it with booze. But it really is the perfect, albeit decadent, green tea for a spirit infusion.
Issaku is a Japanese green tea of the highest quality. It’s handpicked only once a year, which makes it rare too. It’s grown in sugar cane soil and the resulting tea is naturally sweet.
It’s vibrant too, very full bodied for a green tea. The flavor is bolder than most green teas I’m used to, which is perfect for a vodka infusion because the tea flavor really stands out.
I don’t mind giving up the comforts of home to travel the world for a year (or longer). I just wish I could bring that liquor cabinet along with me.
By Suzanne Klein, Tea Foodie
Makes 2 cocktails
For green tea vodka infusion:
1 teaspoon Japanese green tea (I used Issaku Premium Green Tea)
1/2 cup (4 ounces) vodka
4 ounces green tea vodka infusion
1 1/2 ounces dry vermouth
1 handful ice cubes
Juice of 1 lemon wedge (optional)
Lemon slices for garnish
For green tea vodka: Combine tea leaves and vodka in a glass jar with a lid. Cover and let steep at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. The longer you let the infusion go, the stronger the tea flavor will be. Strain and discard tea leaves. Store infused vodka in a sealed jar at room temperature until ready to use.
For cocktails: Combine green tea vodka infusion, vermouth, and ice cubes in a cocktail shaker. Squeeze in juice from a lemon wedge if desired. Shake for at least 30 seconds. Strain into two chilled martini glasses. Garnish each cocktail with a slice of lemon.
- If you can’t get your hands on Issaku green tea, this recipe also works with Gyokuro or Sencha.