Discerning Drinking, Chapter Six.

Originally posted 11th March 2012

Bloody ruddy hell, it’s mid-March already.  The last week or so has been spent out and about in Gloucestershire, eating pancakes and attempting to exercise in preparation for the ‘Three Peaks Challenge’ I am taking part in, come June.  Ooooh, yes.

For those of you not in the know (like me, only two weeks ago), the Three Peaks Challenge- or ‘3PC’ as us hardened fitness fanatics call it- is a quest to climb the highest mountains in Scotland, Wales and England.  So, we will drive from London to Ben Nevis, climb it, then drive to Snowdon in Wales, climb that and then back to England, to Scafell Pike, climb that and then return to London – knackered – all within 24 hours.

People die doing this.  Do I love my job enough to die, halfway up an inconvenient hill in Wales?

Anyway- I am committed and dedicated to the cause, so after leaving the ‘Shire, travelled to Northampton with work and fuelled up on burgers and Guinness.  Never fear, soon I will be back in Carmine’s Bar in Limehouse, ready to trial out a few more cocktails- with fruit juice- five a day and all that crap.

This weekend was spent just farting around with a few bottles; I wanted to keep myself quiet a) because I am skint until Friday and b) after a whole week training in the Midlands, frankly incapable of leaving the house and interacting with the human race.

Cocktails it is then.  I started by boiling the kettle and making some tea.


More experimenting with tea, following the delicious success of the G and Tea a while back.  The Teatini was made with good intentions, however a lot of work still needs to be done.

  • 1.5 shots Bombay Sapphire gin
  • 1.5 shots Cold English Breakfast tea
  • 1 shot Lemon and Elderflower liqueur
  • 0.5 shot Noilly Prat dry vermouth
  • 0.5 shot Sugar Syrup (2:1), (an afterthought)

I bulk-made the breakfast tea this time round, however this was a mistake because as I write this, the refrigerated leftovers smell like washing up water.  I would throw it out but that would involve getting up.  Got a good ass groove going on here!

The Lemon and Elderflower liqueur is a bottle I discovered at a farmer’s market in Cheltenham last summer; it is lovely and I used it this weekend because I thought “What the hell”.  I reckon half a shot of St. Germain and a half shot of lemon juice would do the trick instead.

I shook the original and served into a martini glass.  I prepared the original Teatini without sugar as I thought the lemon and elderflower would be sweet enough.

I was wrong; the Teatini was the driest, bitterest cocktail I have ever had the misfortune to try.  I added half a shot of sugar syrup and it balanced out a bit, but nowhere near enough.  I’ll need to think about this one; it’s worth not abandoning; the tea, elderflower and gin balanced out very well.  Watch this space!

East Indian Iced Tea

Another variation on the Long Island Iced Tea; there are plenty of these kicking around.  I selected this variation based on, well bugger all really.  The East End had a lot of trade coming in so I suppose the ingredients are a hodge-podge of British tradition and um, international trade?  Tasted bloody good though.

  • 0.5 shot Pisco
  • 0.5 shot Bombay Sapphire gin
  • 0.5 shot Bacardi rum
  • 0.5 shot Chase British potato vodka
  • 0.5 shot St. Germain eldferflower liqueur
  • 1 shot Grapefruit juice
  • 0.5 shot 2:1 Sugar Syrup
  • Topped with Tonic Water

The drink is light, refreshing and surprisingly floral.  I may consider trying it without pisco as the taste kept coming back there.  It’s also a bit strong.  I needed to eat two Krispy Kreme doughnuts to balance myself out again.

So, two new drinks; one good, one not so good.  I’ll keep trying, and if I keep failing then, well, I’m drinking a lot of grapefruit juice so the Three Peak Challenge will be a piece of cake.

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