MxMo XLV – Tea: Chrysanthemum Martini
I was back at my mum’s house the other day, and for some reason suddenly had a childhood urge/flashback for chrysanthemum tea (my mum is from Singapore). For those who haven’t had it, chrysanthemum tea is a light, floral, dandelion-esque tea with notes of honey and jasmine. You just stick the whole flower heads into boiling water. So when I saw the title of this MxMo, I knew what I was going to use.
Sometimes MxMo is fuelled by an urge to use the intellect, sometimes a drive to dig into the past, and sometimes a need to burn off exccess creative energy. This time though, it was simply a need to have the coldest possible dry martini I could make in the kitchen.
Infusing using chrysanthemum flowers took a couple of goes. The optimum I found was about 10 flowers to 100ml gin for 4 hours. Any more and you start to get bitterness, any less and the chrysanthemum is drowned out by the other botanicals.
So with that out the way, I just went ahead and made a dry martini using Noilly Prat.
- 60ml Chrysanthemum-infused Plymouth gin
- Little bit of Noilly Prat
- Stirred over ice for a long time, strained into a very very cold martini glass
- Zest a lemon peel and floating chrysanthymum flower garnish
I really really enjoyed it. The chrysanthymum tastes like a very fine natural add on to the existing floral notes from the gin, and I am pretty sure chrysanthymum would make a fine botanical ingredient to a gin. Goes nicely with Noilly Prat which adds good mid-tones to the drink.
Incidentally, I am currently involved in making a perfume fragrance (amateurishly) and have been getting to grips with top middle and bottom notes – the molecular mixology enthusiasts will be no doubt familiar with all this – wikipedia:
- Top notes: The scents that are perceived immediately on application of a perfume. Top notes consist of small, light molecules that evaporate quickly. They form a person’s initial impression of a perfume and thus are very important in the selling of a perfume. Also called the head notes.
- Middle notes: The scent of a perfume that emerges just prior to when the top notes dissipate. The middle note compounds form the “heart” or main body of a perfume and act to mask the often unpleasant initial impression of base notes, which become more pleasant with time. They are also called the “heart notes”.
- Base notes: The scent of a perfume that appears close to the departure of the middle notes. The base and middle notes together are the main theme of a perfume. Base notes bring depth and solidity to a perfume. Compounds of this class of scents are typically rich and “deep” and are usually not perceived until 30 minutes after application.