Raspberry Bergamot shrub — a rich, plum-red infusion delicately scented with Italian bergamot oil — creates a heavenly spritzer when blended with Japanese Sencha green tea. The unique method of cold infusing green tea (described below) was adapted from Sebastian Beckwith’s inspirational web site and description of tea traditions. (Of course, if you want to bypass the ritual and just brew 8 ounces of double-strength green tea the regular way, this will work too.)
Berry Sencha Spritzer
- 2 tbsp Sencha green tea leaves or splurge with Gyokuru
- 4-6 ice cubes made from filtered water
- 1-2 tablespoons Spiker's Raspberry Bergamot Shrub or try Black Currant
- 1-2 fresh mint leaves
- 2-4 ounces Perrier mineral water well chilled
- 1-2 blackberries for garnish
Prepare the Green Tea
- Place 1-2 tablespoons of green tea leaves into a 8-12-ounce clear glass jar or teapot. (Mason jars work well.) Fill the container with ice cubes made from filtered tap water or low-mineral-content spring water. Let sit until enough of the ice has melted to produce a couple of ounces of tea liquor (approximately 1/4 cup). Infusion time will depend on room temperature and humidity. In a typical room, the first infusion should be ready in roughly 30 minutes.
- Pour off the accumulated tea into a glass or cup and set aside. For the second and third infusions, wait until more of the ice has melted, or fill the pot again with new ice cubes and 1-2 tablespoons of cold water. Infuse for 15-20 minutes or longer, to taste.
- Strain the remaining tea and add to the first infusion. Cover your container and store the tea in the refrigerator until ready to serve. The colder, the better.
- Save your tea leaves! They are delicious when added to sticky rice or soup. Or add them to your garden for compost.
Mix the Mocktail
- In a tall glass, place the mint leaves and Spiker’s Raspberry Bergamot (or Black Currant) shrub. Muddle the mint leaves until well bruised. Add approximately 2 oz (1/4 cup) of the green tea infusion and swirl together with the mint and shrub. Gently add the Perrier and a splash of Grapefruit bitters (optional). Stir gently to incorporate the ingredients, and taste. Add extra shrub to adjust the sweetness level to suit your taste. Garnish with a few blackberries or mint leaves and serve.
- To preserve the delicate flavor of the tea, do not add ice cubes unless you need them to make the drink colder. Use the largest possible size cube. Or consider using whiskey stones instead.