The Good China.
There’s nothing like a cup of tea served in the good china. And this is nothing like a cup of tea but it is best served in some nice vintage porcelain. Fortunately there’s no need to wait for your granny to pop her clogs before you can make one of these – simply get yourself invited to a hipster’s house and slip a bit of their Royal Stafford into your coat pocket while they’re checking on the progress of their kombucha. Or get some for peanuts at a charity shop or flea-market. Once you’re tooled up in the bone china department you’ll find The Good China to be a nice civilised (and relatively low alcohol) drink for the gentler moments in life where a Navy Grog or Zombie would seem a bit uncouth*. I originally concocted it with a white port base but more recently I’ve become partial to using Lillet Blanc instead. Feel free to go either way or even split the base between the two, which, to be perfectly honest I only just this moment considered. Don’t be put off by the Earl Grey tincture as it really simple to make and elevates your GC to a higher plane.
The Good China.
2oz / 60ml of dry white port, or Lillet Blanc (or even an ounce of each).
0.5oz / 15ml Heering (a cherry brandy).
0.25oz / 7.5ml Fernet Branca.
2 dashes of your home-made Earl Grey tincture (see below).
Stir with ice and double strain into a well chilled bone china cup.
Garnish with a lemon slice which can squeezed into the cup. Or not.
Toast charity (aka thrift) shops – the source of all our best cocktail receptacles.
Earl Grey tincture.
Throw 2oz/60ml of 50% ABV vodka into a clean jar. Add 2 teaspoons of the very best loose leaf Earl Grey tea that you can find**. Leave it for about two hours, stirring a couple of times for good measure. Yes, it will become very strong and bitter. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and bottle***. Congratulations you’ve just made the easiest bitters in the world. Well technically it’s just a tincture – the extraction of a herb in alcohol.
*Well, we can pretend anyway.
**You’ll probably have to buy a bit more than that or they’ll get pretty pissed off with you at the tea shop. Trust me on this.
***Little (50-100ml) brown glass bottles know as “Boston rounds” are ideal, preferably with a dropper or dasher top. You can find them at aromatherapy suppliers and on ebay or Amazon. Get a few – we’re going to be making some bitters soon.