To ring in the 12 Days of Christmas this year, we’ve asked a dozen top bartenders across the country for their favorite holiday drinks. We’ll be featuring a new cocktail here on the blog every day.
Tenzin Konchok Samdo, the lead bartender at Boston’s Trade, shares this story about his drink recipe: “The inspiration for this cocktail comes from a place where I grew up in northern India, Dharamsala, as a Tibetan refugee. In the cold winters my mom would wrap me up in the softest wool clothes and we would always drink Tibetan butter tea made with Darjeeling tea to warm us up. The flavors of the Pashmina cocktail are reminiscent of these wonderful innocent times with my mom.” The recipe makes enough chamomile-infused Scotch for about 12 cocktails.
For the chamomile-infused Scotch:
1 bottle (750 ml) blended Scotch whisky, such as Johnny Walker Black
1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g) chamomile tea leaves
For the honey-ginger-tea syrup:
3-inch (7.5 cm) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 tsp. Darjeeling tea, or 2 Darjeeling tea bags
1 cup (12 oz./375 g) honey
1 oz. (30 ml) fresh lemon juice
In a 1-quart (1-l) jar, combine the Scotch and chamomile. Cover and let sit for at least 12 hours and up to 48 hours. Strain and discard the chamomile.
To make the honey-ginger-tea syrup, in a small saucepan, combine 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) water, the ginger and tea over high heat. Bring to a boil for 30 seconds, then remove from the heat. Strain the liquid and discard the ginger and tea. In a bowl, stir together the warm ginger-tea mixture with the honey and stir to dissolve.
To assemble the drink, in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine 2 oz. (60 ml) of the chamomile-infused Scotch, 1 oz. (30 ml) of the honey-ginger-tea syrup and the lemon juice. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds, then strain into a cocktail glass (or, alternatively, into a double old-fashioned glass with 1 large cube of ice). Serve immediately. Makes 1 drink.
Tenzin Konchok Samdo, Trade, Boston, MA