Let’s Do Some Prep
The first thing you’ll want to do is to prepare the vodka. This can easily be done the night before you’re planning to imbibe. Remember when we learned about infusing vodka? I hope you were paying attention, because we’re going to do it again!
Add half an ounce (or a bit more) of vanilla-flavored loose leaf tea to a bottle of vodka. If you really want to punch up the flavor, add that tea to vanilla vodka. You don’t need a tea bag or infuser or anything -- just pour the tea leaves into the bottle, screw the cap back on, and pop it in the fridge overnight. Want to really, really pump it up? Toss a split vanilla bean in your bottle, too.
The next day, pour the vodka through a strainer to catch all the tea leaves, then put the vodka back into its original bottle. Voila! Tea-infused vodka. Yes, you can just buy tea-flavored vodka these days, but I guarantee it won’t be as delicious and memorable as the stuff you make yourself.
Now that our vodka situation is under control, it’s time to make those cocktails. We highly recommend maple sugar for this recipe as it adds a subtle complexity and delicate sweetness. However, if you’re just plumb out of maple sugar, you can go ahead and use brown sugar instead.
Makes one large or two small martinis.
- 4 ounces vanilla tea-infused vodka
- 2 ounces cream
- 2 teaspoons maple sugar
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake well, or stir together in a cup until well mixed. Pour into a martini glass and garnish with a sprig of mint (or a split vanilla bean if you’re feeling extra fancy). Toast yourself for making it to 5:00.
Photos are courtesy of the author.