Negrita Grog

by Matt Robold on January 25, 2010

Post image for Negrita Grog

Mixology Monday strikes again, and this time I’m completely unprepared.  I’m not sure how that’s any different from any of the other MxMo’s, but usually my sloth has much more to do with my tardiness than my utter lack of memory that it was even happening.

At Cocktail Virgin Slut, Fred spends his time trying out wonderful cocktails and then writing about them.  It’s a passion so few people seem to have these days.  Fred graciously asked to host MxMo this month, and his theme, tea, left me a bit in the rough (Get it?  Tee/Tea?  It’s a golf joke that isn’t about Tiger Woods!).

  • Find or concoct a drink recipe that uses tea or tisane (a herbal “tea” which lacks tea leaves) as an ingredient. This can be hot tea, cold tea, tea syrups, or infusions and use it in a cocktail, punch, or other drink type. Be careful how long you infuse them (after 2 hours, things get really bitter!) if you go that route, and feel free to take a shortcut and use Beefeater 24 which has tea already in the botanical mix.
  • Make the drink and then post the recipe, a photo, and your thoughts about the drink on your blog or on the eGullet Spirits and Cocktails forum.

Normally I have my MxMo drink planned HOURS in advance.  Tonight saw me scrambling through my books and online to find something that I could make at home with my dwindling citrus supply.  Note to self: Mixology Mondays are bad days to have as “gym days.”

Negrita_Grog_BoxedNegrita Grog
from CocktailDB

.5 oz White Rum
.5 oz Brandy
.5 oz Curacao
1 oz Strong Tea
.5 tsp Sugar

Build in a rocks glass and fill with hot water.  Garnish with a lemon wedge.

I found my lemons had turned on me in that sort of Peasant Revolt kind of way.  Their usually soft and supple flesh had become as hard as stone.  OK, I didn’t manage my citrus supply well this week.  I did have some good oranges though, so I used an orange blossom black tea and garnished with an orange twist instead.

The warm drink is great on a cold night.  The hot tea melds nicely with the rum, curacao, and brandy, and even though I used orange tea with my curacao, the orange flavor remained very pleasant and soothing instead of overpowering.  I’d imagine that a good, strong Earl Grey or Irish Breakfast tea would be wonderful in this drink – lemon, orange, or otherwise.

Question of the Day:

What’s your favorite way to use rum and tea together?

{ 9 comments }

Blair, aka Trader Tiki January 26, 2010 at 7:20 am

Oh bless the sweet beast that is the Cocktail DB!

Carolyn Jung January 26, 2010 at 9:07 am

This sounds like the perfect drink to relax with in front of a roaring fireplace. I love the addition of the tea to give it more complexity.

Yoav January 26, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Great idea for a winter drink. And may I say, a nicely executed picture.
As a more general request for your blogness, can you add a feature that lets me print the recipe, sans the surrounding prose? Just the take-home-and-drink-it message, if you will.
Ciao…

Frederic January 26, 2010 at 9:07 pm

Thank you for your Mixology Monday submission! My favorite way to use rum and tea is clearly the punch, especially using green tea. Although trying some smokier teas with smoky rums might be a fun experiment.

Matt Robold January 28, 2010 at 9:18 am

Yoav: The “recipe cards” are actually in the works, along with a few other enhancements to the site.

Frederic: I was really pleased with the drink and plan on having a few more with different rum/tea combos as long as the weather stays chilly.

Colin January 28, 2010 at 12:54 pm

My favorite way to use tea with rum: I recently made something I called Winter Cider. I infused Apple cider with Jasmine Tea and then mixed it with Licor 43, honey, cinnamon, and a generous helping of Ron Zacapa. It was glorious.

Matt Robold January 28, 2010 at 12:57 pm

That sounds freaking awesome. What are the proportions on that?

Colin S January 28, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Sure,

2 Shots of Ron Zacapa 23
.5 Shot of Licor 43
.5 Shot of Lemon Juice
.5 Shot of Honey Syrup
Between 4-6 oz of Jasmine Tea-Cinnamon Infused Apple Cider (depending on your preference)

To make the cider: Steep jasmine tea and a Cinnamon Stick in simmering apple cider for around 5 minutes. I use the filtered apple cider because it looks better, but cloudy tastes just as good. Pour in a mug and garnish with the cinnamon stick.

sc'Que? December 2, 2011 at 10:41 pm

@Yaov: Most PCs come with a handy little program called Notepad (notepad.exe–I keep a shortcut on my taskbar just for this reason!) Simply highlight the recipe, copy and paste into Notepad. Easy-peasy! =)

@Colin S: That sounds stupendous! Thank you–and can you recommend a second-choice on the rum?

@Matt Robold, et al: I’m enjoying an Earl Grey Negrita Grog right now! What a great way to end a shitty night at work! Here, a star anise pod works great as a garnish.

As for my own favorite rum tea-toddy… Well, outside of my usual job as bartender, one of my hobbies is that I blend tea for a few local coffee shops. I have over 20 blends, but I’m pretty proud of my Garuda Chai–a traditional Indian-style masala tea that includes blended Indian and Ceylon teas, vanilla, ginger, cardamom, coriander, clove, peppercorn, cayenne, Chinese and Vietnamese cinnamon…–you get the idea!

At home I do it up coffee-shop style: brew the chai extra-strong, using sugar to sweeten during the 5-minute steep. (This helps extract more nuances in the spices.) Strain with a french-press and add 8 ounces to a 16-oz mug… along with a shot of Smith & Cross Navy-strength Jamaican rum. Fill with 7 ounces of frothed, organic whole milk. Top with a spiral of wildflower honey. Dust with nutmeg or cracked peppercorn.

I’d been having difficulty figuring out how to appreciate Smith & Cross rum. Luckily, I tried this recipe before my first bottle kicked!

ps. If you’re in central-PA, you can pick up Garuda Chai (and several other of my blends) at Cafe Lemont (on the square in Lemont, PA).

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