Here, we learn how to make the False Travels cocktail. Very loosely based on a 50-50 martini, this cocktail echoes the restaurant’s culinary influences—largely French and Italian, with touches of Chinese and Japanese—and ties them together into one drink.
Whipping up the Lapsang Souchong syrup may take a bit of extra time—but once it’s made, it keeps for about a month, and you can then use it in other drinks as well, like the Moon Gate cocktail.
1 oz Beefeater London dry gin
1 oz Dolin dry vermouth
.75 oz Mugi Shochu (such as Mizu Barley, or lower-proof shochu like Takara Mugi)
.5 oz Dimmi Liquore di Milano
.5 oz Lapsang Souchong tea syrup (see below)
2 dashes Fee Brothers Plum Bitters
Stir and serve up in a coupe glass.
Lapsang Souchong syrup:
2 cups white sugar
2 cups water
1/2 cup of loose Lapsang Souchong tea, packed
approx. 2 tsp of green cardamom seeds (or approx. 30 green cardamom pods)
1. If using cardamom pods, throw them into a pan and lightly toast them. After they puff up just a little and you allow them to cool, break up the pods and separate the seeds from the casings.
If you’re using seeds, also toast in the pan, but the seeds will require extra care in order to keep them from toasting up too much.
2. Using a grinder, finely pulverize the seeds and set the powder aside.
3. Set the water onto a stovetop until simmering.
4. Add the tea leaves into the water, and let simmer for about three minutes.
5. Add the cardamom powder and stir in thoroughly.
6. Add the sugar and stir over heat until completely dissolved.
7. Take the mixture off heat, and let it sit to cool for about 20-30 minutes.
8. Take a mesh strainer, and strain the mixture through it. Use gloves or a spoon to press down on the strained leaves to squeeze out any residual liquid still present. Make sure no tea leaves are present in the final syrup.
(Keeps, refrigerated, for about one month)