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New Orleans in the Summer...

is hot and sticky. It felt like Hong Kong or Bangkok where you don't stay dry after walking out in the street and the icy air conditioning jolts you awake when walking into a store or hotel lobby.
I just returned from a long weekend trying to understand the finer points of mixology (what bartenders do) from the experts. Tales of the Cocktail is a meeting of spirits professionals from around the world where they honor their own and sample a few drinks at the many dinners, events and local venues. This is the 7th year and it seems to be a growing event. There were seminars, tastings, and panel discussions which covered all aspects of spirits and beverage service. New Orleans is the home of the famous (and maybe first ever) cocktail - the Sazerac.
Beefeater 24 Gin 
I spoke about tea at a gin dinner - the connection here is through Beefeater 24, a new recipe for a classic gin. Gin is distilled from a mash (infusion) of aromatics (think chai with herbs and spices). This one steeps for 24 hours before the distillation which is where the name comes from. The Master Distiller, Desmond Payne wanted to have some higher notes in the gin and experimented with tea to see if it could provide the aromatics he was seeking. Eventually he settled on two different green teas, which in addition to the classic spices gives Beefeater 24 its profile.

We served Scarlet Glow (our popular iced infusion) for a welcome non-alcoholic beverage! It was featured a few weeks ago in TIME OUT NY. Try the cocktail and let us know if you come up with any variations.

- Sebastian Beckwith
From Joaquin Simo of Death & Company 

In a cocktail shaker, lightly muddle two thin cucumber slices. Add:
• 2 ounces Beefeater 24
• 1/2 ounce Aperol
• 3/4 ounces grapefruit juice
1/2 ounce Scarlet Glow syrup*

Shake briefly with 3 ice cubes to chill, then strain over crushed ice in a highball glass. Garnish with a cucumber ribbon (use a vegetable peeler to carve out a thin seedless slice of cucumber, then skewer it with a cocktail pick).

*Scarlet Glow syrup
Heat 1 cup water on the stovetop. Add 1 cup of sugar and stir to dissolve. Bring to a boil, then add 4 to 5 tablespoons of Scarlet Glow tea (hibiscus and elderflower tea made by In Pursuit of Tea). Remove the mixture from the heat and allow it to steep for 45-60 minutes, then strain the syrup into an airtight container and refrigerate. The recipe makes approximately 1 1/2 cups of syrup. It should keep in the refrigerator for 1 1/2 weeks.
Scarlet Glow - a delicious hot or cold herbal 
This is a lively, sweet and fruity blend of hibiscus, elderflower and other delicious herbs. This caffeine-free herbal infusion is naturally sweetened with the herb stevia. The hibiscus imparts a brilliant red color to the infusion.

Contains: Hibiscus Flower, Lemon Verbena, Elderflower, Stevia, Nettle, Milk Thistle 
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