Wednesday, July 11, 2007

More results: black tea and lemon vodka

Last week's infusion experiment, black tea and lemon vodka, infused for about a day. Due to time constraints, we bottled the infusion taste untested, and waited until the next day before conducting a true test. The loose tea cold-steeped the vodka to a dark brown color, as we expected. Before bottling, the infusion looked like this:

We strained the tea leaves and lemon zest out of the vodka through cheesecloth while bottling it.

It should be noted that neither of the Mad Scienticians are avid tea drinkers. We generally only drink it when we are sick, or when a rare mood strikes us. Therefore, we are not qualified to review the quality of the tea flavor in its own right.

This testing occurred on the same night as the Big Experiment testing, so as you might tell, we were slightly buzzed by this point. However, we do not believe it was enough to adversely affect our analysis.

I felt that the vodka had "a strong tea flavor all the way through, though it still has a significant vodka flavor component, and a bit of a burn on the back end. The lemon flavor is barely noticeable in its own right, but it is present as a part of the tea flavor, which is as it should be. It's not something I would drink often on its own, but I bet it would taste great with our honey vodka."

Wayland's thoughts ran along similar lines. "This reminds me of being sick, though not in a bad way. Generally, when I'm sick, I turn to tea. The problem is, I usually add copious amounts of sugar or honey to my tea. I feel like this vodka needs a sweetness that isn't there. There is a mild vodka burn to this, but it is hardly noticeable. Other than the lack of sweetness, this is excellent."

Subsequently, we decided to put our mutual theory to the test, by combining this with honey vodka.

Black Tea/Honey Shot

Shake with ice and pour into a shot glass:
½ oz. Mad Scientician™ Black Tea and Lemon vodka
½ oz. Mad Scientician™ Honey vodka

This is exactly what we felt was missing when we tasted the black tea. The sweetness supplements the taste of the tea vodka, and cancels out its back-end burn. Wayland felt that it could use a higher tea ratio, possibly two-thirds tea to one-third honey; I thought it was fine as it is, though the higher ratio may be preferred by tea lovers.

Brendan's score: 3.5 flasks out of 5
Wayland's score: 3.5 flasks out of 5
Overall score:


Janet Mayfire said...

As somebody who generally drinks her tea white (it takes away that bitterness), it occurred to me that a more creamy cocktail might work better - in the way that cream is one of the ingredients in a Brandy Alexander. It should take that bitter edge off the tea.

Anonymous said...

Personally I'm an avid tea drinker, and I can taste the difference between good tea and bad quite readily. Bagged teas are pretty much always inferior to loose leaves - too much tannin, usually. If you invested in some high-quality leaves it might cut down on the bitterness.

Lisa said...

I just had a black tea infused vodka cocktail at a restaurant that was amazing! I didn't ask for recipe I wished I had. But menu said black tea infused vodka & grenadine. They served w/ lemon peel. It was cold, sweet & delish. I'd like to try & recreate at home. I will try your scientific method for sure :)