Currently, six out of Fern Bar’s two-dozen cocktails use tea as an ingredient. For the Kyoto Sour, his team infuses gin with green tea, and combines that with coconut cream, spiced pear, lemon, and egg whites, with a sprinkle of matcha powder on top.
The bar’s Long Thailand Iced Tea is a punny twist that fuses tropical flavors of vanilla vodka, Thai tea, Falernum liqueur, pineapple, orange, and coconut. And the Creamsicle is another vibrant creation using tea-infused vodka, amaro, lime, mandarin, passionfruit, bubbles, and egg white.
“The Creamsicle is made with this Lemon Love Affair tea, which has got these notes of orange zest and coconut, and saffron,” Katzin explains. “It just has this creamy, floral, almost viscous element to it that really makes for a beautiful drink.”
Tea can add that full body texture, he says, but also additional flavor without sweetness, an element that can offer dryness or bitterness (like in a green tea) for the ultimate balance.
Of course, tea is also a natural fit for warm cocktails in the winter, something that Fern showcases with its newly added Naughty Toddy, in which masala chai is steeped with room temperature brandy, then added to hot water, a house-spiced pumpkin puree, brown sugar, and lemon.