Some time ago, a tea trader was demonstrating his cold brewing method for tea. One of the teas I tried was a Japanese sencha that had a surprisingly umami-rich taste with a tomato-like flavor. So when I began experimenting, naturally, tomatoes to mind as an a great match for this Japanese Sencha cocktail with gin.
Pairing Sencha and Tomami
Our Japanese sencha (green) tea syrup takes the place of a simple syrup. Its roasted caramel and spicy vanilla notes serve as the basis for this cocktail that we infuse with ginger for added brightness and pungency. The sencha's tomato-like aroma also provides links to Tomami, an umami-rich tomato reduction, that we blend with cherry tomatoes and apple juice for a touch of sweetness and an enhanced fruity freshness. The floral, rose-like aroma of the apples also works to round out the other flavors in this drink.
An herbal Olive Oil emulsion
Now for texture. To give our cocktail a smooth mouthfeel, we create a separate emulsion using the egg whites and olive oil. The added olive oil emulsion, shaken together with the Sencha - Ginger syrup, the Apple - Tomato juice and ice makes for a cool, refreshing Japanese Sencha cocktail with a silky finish.
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Japanese Sencha cocktail
Sencha - Ginger syrup
- 2 dl water
- 5 g Japanese sencha (green tea) leaves
- 3 g fresh ginger, peeled
- 100 g granulated sugar
Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add the sencha and ginger. Cover and infuse for at least for 5 minutes, then sieve. You should have about 100 grams of tea remaining.
Now, add the sugar and heat gently until the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from heat again and allow to cool completely.
Apple - Tomato juice
- 80 g cherry tomatoes
- 50 ml apple juice
- 5 g Tomami
In a mixer, blend the cherry tomatoes, apple juice and Tomami together. Sieve and set aside.
Japanese Sencha cocktail
- 50 ml Sencha - Ginger syrup
- 50 ml Apple - Tomato juice
- 15 ml Bombay Sapphire gin
- 30 ml egg whites
- 15 ml extra-virgin olive oil
Begin by emulsifying the egg whites and olive oil. Transfer to a cocktail shaker.
Next, combine the Sencha - Ginger syrup and the Apple - Tomato juice with the remaining ingredients and shake briefly. Now add the ice cubes and shake again.
To finish, strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with basil leaves.