Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Ti(n)sanity!: Hit the Road to Dreamland

Wasn't that a lovely musical interlude for halftime? We're into the second half of Ti(n)sanity's March Madness week, here on Feu de Vie. Our friendly neighborhood Maguffin, Celestial Seasonings Tension Tamer tea, is about to take the big plunge into waters yet-unknown: namely because it's not water, it's rum!

That's right, after four dreary posts of build-up, we've finally hit our first alcohol-infusion. Let's go to the tape, and see just how this infusion came to be:
Tension Tamer Rum: In a mason jar or similar, add one Tension Tamer teabag to one cup of white rum (or more, keeping the same ratio). Infuse for 60 minutes. Remove the bag(s), wringing out the final richly-infused drops. Seal the jar and store in the fridge overnight or longer until ready to use. The flavors will clarify as the excess infusion oils sink to the bottom of the jar.
Wasn't that exciting? All that drama watching the clock so it doesn't overdo! But what'll happen now as we get to see how this infusion defines greatness. Let's go live to the court:

Hit the Road to Dreamland
2 oz Tension Tamer Rum
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz triple sec
1/4 oz simple syrup
3/4 oz egg white

Dry shake (i.e. without ice) the first four ingredients until foam is started, then add ice and shake to dilute and chill.

Double-strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a faint hint of fresh-grated nutmeg.

Oh! MoD's run a classic Sidecar play, with an egg white option. There's very little that can bust that structure as it moves down the field. Though to be technical, this play is more Cable Car. No no no, that's not right, or wait, let's check that. All right, we can call it a Difford's Guide Cable Car play. There's definitely something British with the use of tea. But wait, what's this? Nutmeg! MoD unleashes the nutmeg! Ho-lee cow!

This may well be the strongest application of our Maguffin yet. Though dense and dry like gin when the infusion is tasted neat, when applied to a cocktail it's permitted room to breathe and the flavor comes through exactly as if you had just brewed a cup. Moreover, the cinnamon spice in the herb mix especially comes through: dry like gin, but spiced like rum. Whereas the nutmeg would have drowned out the Lullaby Sangaree, here it's a pleasant touch for the nose, mixed with hints of lemongrass from the Tension Tamer.

Stay tuned for your local news, and one final post tomorrow, with a special recipe for St. Paddy's Day.

(and don't be shy about playing around with base spirits! If the below-linked recipes indicate anything, it's that our Maguffin works well with a great number of base spirits. Vodka would be the least-interesting option, to be sure.)

Previous Ti(n)sanity recipes:

Lullaby Sangaree (madeira) and Insufferable Creole Minx (bourbon, gin, madeira)
T. T. Punch (rhum agricole)
Me-tea-orite (single malt scotch)
Introduction and eThéreal Toddy (grappa)

Disclaimer: this is a non-sponsored post. Also, I'm not looking to do sponsored posts. I just really like this tea, is all, and have a policy of happily and independently buying all my ingredients.