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RECIPE: THE HERMIT


 

Rich earthy sweetness, complemented by cozy cinnamon smoke.
prep time: 1 hour serves: 4 difficulty: medium

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups (720 ml) water
  • 2 tsp (5 g) Assam black tea leaves
  • 1 tsp (6 g) ginger, grated
  • 2 tsp (5 g) cloves, whole 
  • 1 tsp (1.5 g) cardamom pods, lightly pressed
  • 1 tsp (2 g) fennel seeds, whole
  • 1/2 tsp (1 g) black peppercorn, whole
  • 2 Tbsp (40 g) seedless tamarind paste, or 4 Tbsp if with seeds
  • 6 cinnamon sticks (10.5 g), 4 inches (10 cm) long
  • 4 Tbsp (60 g) white sugar or equivalent substitute
  • ½ cup (120 ml) egg whites or aquafaba

DIRECTIONS

Sweet & Sour Chai (yields 2½ cups, or 600 ml)
  1. Into a small pot of boiling water, add the black tea, ginger, cloves, cardamom, fennel, peppercorn, tamarind paste, and 2 sticks of cinnamon. 
  2. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, pass through a fine sieve, and gently press the spice mix to release more liquid.
  4. Add sugar and stir to dissolve.
  5. Let cool to room temperature, then seal and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Per serving

  • 5 oz (150 ml) Sweet & Sour Chai
  • 1 oz (30 ml) egg white
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  1. Add Sweet & Sour Chai and egg white to a cocktail shaker without ice.
  2. Seal and vigorously shake for 10 seconds to create a foam.
  3. Open, fill the shaker with ice and shake for another 10 seconds.
  4. Strain the cocktail through a fine mesh sieve into a coupe or martini glass, tapping the strainer to get more foam out.
  5. To garnish, light one end of a cinnamon stick with a culinary blow torch or lighter until glowing, then place on a small heat-proof saucer or piece of slate.
  6. Serve the glass alongside the smoking cinnamon stick.

NOTES

  • Tamarind is a hard-shelled legume with a sour red-fleshed fruit inside. It is most widely available as a paste, processed into small bricks and can be found at many stores specializing in East Asian and South Asian cuisine.
  • The smoking cinnamon adds an important dimension of the sensory experience; the earthy sweetness of the cocktail is complemented by spicy, smoky aromatics.
While drinking, ask yourself: Where do I find a sense of peace and serenity?