For the moment I am working [still] on the new beverage program of Skylite [besides of all the other bits and pieces of a good relaunch of a rooftop bar].
Alcoholic mixed drinks, are rather finalized, but I am now working on the alcohol free drinks.
While I was browsing, I found some more or less expiring mocktails on foodandwine.com - one, the Emerald Palmer, looked quite intriguing. So I went on to our Japanese restaurant to get some macha tea. Unfortunately [or should I say fortunately] I haven't found macha tea there, they had only a fancy Sencha and Genmaicha.
I have seen Genmaicha before - and but, to be honest, I am more intrigued by the sophistication of tea culture [tea ceremony and all] than by the taste of teas. So usually I am quite reserved to try a lot of teas [except of Earl Grey tea, which happen to pair fantastically with cigars - especially if you drink it with some sugar and a little bit milk].
Anyway, today I took a sample of the genmaicha with me to the bar [due to the lack of macha] and tried it.
The taste is fantastic, the tea taste is really in the background and the roasted rice taste is upfront; it is distinctive toasty, really a tea for my taste.
As I am more a cold drinks guy, I poured it after the first smell over ice and off course I added sugar.
When I tried this Genmaicha Iced Tea - it was directly apparent for me, that this flavor pairs fantastically. It would do well for an infusion [think genever, shōchū, maybe sake or even whisky].
But I thought it would even do better as a soda. So I added some citric acid... and: BANG!
This is it. I could not imagine a more complex soda, which is still a pleasure to drink [I was not carbonizing it simply because I was too lazy and too penny pinching. But the carbonation is just the dot on the i - the flavor was there, and carbonation is just adding something even more interesting.
Funny thing is, that it is unique as comforting, distinguished as light.
It would be perfect with Irish potstill whisky or Scotch - I can really think that it could work with gin [maybe Old Tom gin??? We get soon here in the UAE our hands on Haromex Old Tom!]
And off course it is a very adequate alcohol free drink.
What not to love about it?
Again: for a great base soda recipe, please follow the link.