The Darjeeling Limited


Ingredients: 
Green tea (four tea bags or 4tsp of loose leaf tea)
Two stalks of lemongrass
250mL honey
A lemon (or 250mL of lemon juice)

Directions:

  1. Bring 400mL water to a boil, reduce to a simmer
  2. Add 1/4 cup of green tea, bagged or loose leaf wrapped in cheesecloth
  3. Return to a simmer uncovered for about 15 mins
  4. Add chopped lemongrass (slice diagonally to cut through the fibrous skin)
  5. Cover and simmer for 15 mins
  6. Remove from heat, strain out all solids
  7. Add 250mL honey, stir to dissolve
  8. Let stand to cool
  9. Once cooled, add 250mL lemon juice (freshly squeezed is always better!)

Approximate time needed: 50mins
Produces: 750mL of The Darjeeling Limited mix

To serve:

  1. Fill a standard 14oz glass with ice (pictured: a Collins glass)
  2. Add 2oz (60mL) of The Darjeeling Limited mix
  3. Fill with soda, stir to combine
  4. Garnish with a lemon slice
  5. Add a curl of lemongrass taken lengthwise with a vegetable peeler!

Notes: 

  1. Green Tea has numerous health benefits, but also lends a mellowing effect to the otherwise sharp citrus of a simple lemonade. Using honey in place of refined white sugar adds more flavour depth, and the steeped lemongrass (as well as its fresh garnish), provides an up-front spice that leads to the rest of the drink.
  2. Honey is more dense and has a higher perceived sweetness than sugar, so we’ll typically use 20% less of it than we would with sugar. That way that the resulting drink isn’t too sweet. (For example, a regular batch of simple syrup might have 100g of sugar for every 100mL of water, while a honey syrup will have 80mL of honey for every 100mL of water.)
  3. Dried ingredients like teas will benefit from long steeping time, extracting maximum flavour, but fresh herbs will lose flavour when heated for too long. It’s for that reason that we add the lemongrass near the end of the cooking time of this recipe.
  4. Due to the honey and acid content of The Darjeeling Limited mix, it will keep in a refrigerator for two to three weeks (bravo if you have the restraint to make it last that long!). For larger batches, simply increase the ingredient quantities equally but keep cooking times the same.

(Added bonus: Your kitchen will smell amazing after you make this.)

darjeeling

What kind of bird are you?

Haritha and I met on a dating app (if you want me to tell you which one, you’re going to have to bribe me). I was charmed instantly by how funny and handsome he is, then I found out he was a bartender. I warned him that I have a tattoo of temperance activist Carrie A. Nation. He reassured me that he was one of the few bartenders in the city who doesn’t drink.

Seventeen days later we spent a week together at Artscape Gibraltar Point, something I think everyone on earth should do. On that trip, we decided to collaborate on Temperance Cocktails. Haritha knew he could raise the standard for non-alcoholic drinks; I wanted to help him spread the word.

Three months later, we got the chance to launch our project at the Centre for Social Innovation‘s annual Wine and Cheese party (full disclosure: Haritha and I both work at the Centre for Social Innovation!). Haritha developed recipes for the menu pictured below. I designed the look of it, and named all the drinks after Wes Anderson movies (we had of course watched Moonrise Kingdom while on the island).

Temperance Cocktails(1)

When non-drinkers came to the bar, it was so magical to get to tell them that all of the choices were non-alcoholic. I lost count of how many times people thanked us and told us they never had fun choices like this.

I have to tell you that we’re so jazzed by everyone’s enthusiasm for this project. We’re lining up workshops and events and creating more recipes every day. We’d love to hear your thoughts! You can reach us at haritha@temperancecocktails.com.