Even before King of Gin, Desmond Payne unveiled his masterful Sencha-infused Beefeater 24, tea was an ingredient frequently spotted at cocktail competitions. Gins with an Earl Grey twist have cropped up on menus for years, and bars such as Edinburgh’s Bramble have long favoured a teacup Martini glass. Now though, Marylebone brasserie Café Luc have raised the stakes with the launch a mini-menu of four tea-based cocktails, each of which have been imbued with the legendary leaves of Parisian tea boutique, Mariages Frères.
Better known for its elegant interior and a perfectly executed food menu (one which finally makes Belgium feel exciting) than the content of their glassware; the team at Café Luc have made the most of Mariages Frères’ Orange Pekoe Ceylon, Marco Polo and Bourbon Vanilla teas, to create two Martinis, a Mojito and a spiced Iced Tea. The results are well-balanced, unexpected and make an ideal digestif.
It would be easy to argue that the rise of the tea leaf is the next logical step from ubiquity of Espresso and Breakfast Martinis on every list in town. The sheer scope of flavoured teas lends itself perfectly to the world of mixology after all; so, is this going to be the next big trend after Picklebacks?