My search for today’s classic cocktail was motivated by the idea of landing on something that could work for Thanksgiving. I wanted it on the lighter side, and wanted it to be full of spice and thoughts of fall. The book Speakeasy has been an endless source of inspiration for me, and I’ve found myself reaching for it first when looking for ideas, especially recently. This week was no exception. There is a cocktail in it created by Employees Only bartender Milos Zica that is a riff on a Dark and Stormy that uses bourbon instead of rum, and roobios (red-tea) infused Dolin Blanc vermouth. I immediately began to think about how I could create my own Thanksgiving spin, and came up with the idea of using a chai roobios and a chai simple syrup to really bring the kind of warmth and spice I was hoping for. Don’t let the idea of creating the vermouth infusion dissuade you from giving this cocktail a try. It’s quite simple and you can adjust the amounts to make less if you need to.
The bourbon gives this drink the nice strong backbone that’s so necessary in a rocks cocktail. The infused Dolin Blanc is downright magical in the way it pairs with the bourbon and lemon, and the chai simple syrup and ginger beer create the spiciness that moves this drink from being a summertime refresher to a fall apertif. Cheers everyone! Happy Thanksgiving!!
1½ oz of your favorite bourbon
1 oz Roobios infused vermouth*
¾ oz fresh lemon juice
½ oz chai simple syrup**
3 oz good quality ginger beer
Shake everything except the ginger beer with ice and pour into a Collins glass with fresh ice. top with the ginger beer and add a clove or star anise studded lemon wheel as the garnish. Enjoy!
*Brew a cup of chai Roobios tea. Heat 1 cup of Dolin Blanc vermouth, 1 tablespoon of the tea, and the peel from an entire lemon (that you’ve expressed over the pot and dropped in) until it just comes to a boil. Allow it to steep for 30 minutes and remove the lemon peel. Once it’s cool, pour it back into the bottle of vermouth. It will keep indefinitely if stored in the fridge.
**Brew a second cup of chai Roobios tea. Allow it to steep and then pour ½ cup into a measuring cup. Add ½ cup of sugar. Heat gently until dissolved. Store in a mason jar in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.
The original Quiet Storm recipe simply omits the chai.