15 July 2011

Secret tea cocktails

No, this isn’t a photo of a random restaurant in Chinatown. It’s one of Chinatown, New York’s ‘secret’ bars called Apotheke. Notice that the doors on this storefront are a little too nice to fit in? That’s because it’s the entrance to a dimly lit bar whose vibe and d├ęcor makes you feel like you’ve stepped back into the 1930s. And the secret to their success? Mixing herbs (tisanes) like lavender and sage with alcohol to create unique cocktails.

The night I dropped by I tried their Lavender Fields cocktail from the “Stress Reliever” category of their cocktail menu. A mix of Tequila, lime, Kalamanci fruit (a tart fruit from the Philippines) and lavender herbal tea, this drink certainly provides some instant relaxation after a long day! It’s very sour, but goes down easy. If you’re a mojito or margarita lover like me, then you know what I mean. Curious to try this one at home, I asked the bartender how it was made. Instead of infusing the Tequila with lavender like you would do with say tea leaves and vodka, they actually just mix lavender infused herbal tea with all of the ingredients.

Make sure you drop by if you’re planning a trip to NYC – and don’t forget which doors to look out for!