Hi, my name is Elana and I’m that weirdo at Target standing in the hand soap aisle smelling every bottle trying to determine which scent comes home with me. Scent is a powerful determining factor of what gets used in my home. If a dish soap, or hand lotion, or candle has a scent that doesn’t jive with what I consider olfactory perfection, out it goes. Aroma with cocktails is also a similar experience.
Certain scents may sound strange when referencing a drink, but think about how we throw around terroir with wine (and now, there’s lots of spirits doing that as well). You may like a drink because it reminds you of cut grass from your childhood, or bell peppers, or–and this is a favorite of mine–hot tar. Many times, the aroma of a drink will keep me going back again and again. So I thought I’d try capturing a smell from one of my favorite places, the Central Coast of California, and putting it into a drink.
Today we’ve teamed up with Everclear to recreate the aroma of the California coast in a tincture: fresh green rosemary, wafts of woodsmoke, and a spray of salt air. Everclear has a neutral base and with the higher ABV it also helps to preserve the infusion with no added flavors.
Tinctures are easy ways to get new layers of flavor and aroma into your cocktails without changing the amount of liquid already present. They also will not alter the ABV of your drink in any considerable way. You only need a few drops or a spray or two and your drink is transformed. All you really need is a few ingredients, a bottle of Everclear, and some time.
So, let’s make this tincture and then I’ll give you a few quick and simple ways to use it once it’s done! Who knows, maybe this will inspire you to create your own tincture from your favorite place, or, err, hand soap.
Note: I find having some refillable spray bottles and droppers around helpful to bottle my tinctures, but these are totally not necessary. As long as you have an airtight, non-reactive container you should be fine (that glass canning jar your bone broth came in? Give that guy a wash and use that for storage!).
California Coastal Tincture
2 ounces kosher salt
2 ounces water
10 ounce Everclear
2 tablespoons lapsang souchong tea
4 sprigs rosemary, cleaned
- In a small saucepan over high heat, combine water and salt and whisk vigorously to dissolve (it’s fine if not all the salt dissolves). Remove from heat and set aside.
- In an airtight container with well fitting lid, combine Everclear, lapsang souchong tea, rosemary sprigs and salt mixture. Seal container and shake well to combine. Set aside in a cool, dark place for 5 days, giving the container a shake every day or so.
- After 5 days remove the rosemary sprigs and taste the mixture for smokiness. If you want your tincture to go even smokier, leave the tea in for another 3 days, tasting until you reach your desired level.
- When desired aroma/flavor is reached, strain the contents through a coffee filter into a clean, airtight container. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months.
How do I use this tincture?
- My absolute favorite way to enjoy this tincture is a few drops in a Martini using a 1:1 London dry gin to vermouth. The aroma pops and makes the drink much more complex.
- You can mist this over a citrusy Old Fashioned. The rosemary pairs really well with citrus flavors.
- Add a few drops to a Cachaça Sour for an earthy, tangy mix.
To learn more about Everclear and their Make It Your Own Campaign, click here!