Here is a quick guide on how to infuse gin (or vodka for that matter) with green tea for you to use in a martini or an unusual gin and tonic.
Simple, perfect, temperature-dependent, conducive towards mindful introspection… Am I talking about green tea or martinis here?
I’ve previously made one or two gins infused with tea, such as Earl Grey but I wanted to try it with green tea, something I drink regularly.
While powdered matcha green tea is exquisite for making a cup of tea, I wanted to use something that wasn’t powdered to infuse the gin so that it didn’t leave a lot of sediment, so I picked a high quality sencha green tea, which involves dried green tea leaves that haven’t been ground into a fine powder.
Given that better quality green tea tends to impart it’s flavour very readily the infusion process was simple.
For every 100ml of gin you want to infuse, use one tablespoon of green tea for a really strong flavour.
Add the tea to a jar, top up with gin, seal it and give it a really good shake – and I mean it: be really rough! In a traditional Japanese tea ceremony the host will use a whisk to stir up the tea and infuse it. You need to partially replicate this process with the jar.
Once your arm starts to hurt from the shaking, leave the jar to infuse for 10 minutes, giving it a rigorous shake once or twice more. However, don’t leave it too long or it will become bitter.
Strain the liquid and either discard the leaves or use them to make a gin-flavoured cup of tea (although I tried this and it tasted pretty nasty so feel free to leave this stage out). Put the strained green gin into a container and store it in the freezer.
When it’s time to serve you can make an earthy/grassy green tea gin and tonic. Alternatively serve it as a martini. You can either follow the classic martini recipe and replace the gin with your green tea infusion, or you can do as I do and replace half of the normal gin with your green tea infusion to keep it subtle.
However, I would like to make a confession: I am not completely satisfied with this whole concept. While the thought of combining green tea and martini works very well in theory, the traditionalist in me simply prefers to have a good cup of hot green tea, followed by a clean, cold classic martini later in the day.
Perhaps we shouldn’t try to improve two separate things which are already simple and perfect in their own right. Or maybe I’m just a traditionalist. You decide.