About this Cocktail
I would like to preface this drink with the following three items of information:
1. Every day, I make a smoothie and as such I have a lot of contact with fresh fruit. During the smoothie prep process, I have to wash, peel, de-seed, discard and keep whatever parts of the fruit are desirable. But whilst looking at a bowl full of papaya seeds, I thought, "these would be beautiful little jewels in the bottom of a gin cocktail and give off just the right hint of papaya." Given the other ingredients in the drink, one might think, "Papaya?" but trust me, Papaya is just the right kind of fruit.
2. Spring has just barely sprung and during one of my many walks in Prospect Park, I saw that winter is finally over in this part of the world. I observed that beautiful little plants were beginning to shoot up from the ground, flowers were blossoming and moss and lichen were covering tree bark. During my scavenging I found some pieces of grass, bits of tree bark, Chinese Witch Hazel flowers, clover, fern and a lovely clump of Mica Cap mushrooms. As I stared at my collection of treasures, I surmised that if washed properly and steeped for several days, these items may produce a delicious and earthy tea. Please note, I have brewed mushroom tea before (not that kind!) and so knew the methods of doing so. My hypothesis was correct, the tea came out tasting mostly of musky mushroom with hints of grass and treebark.
3. As I drank my first cup of this soothing Mica Cap tea, I knew it was missing something and I knew that something was Gin. Green Mountain Gin to be specific. I have become extremely fond of Green Mountain Gin after several trips to Vermont mostly due to its pine notes and extremely well balanced nature. The Anise notes from Peychaud's make it just the right bitters for this drink.
1 oz Green Mountain Gin
3 oz Mica Cap Mushroom Tea and flora from Prospect Park
Three Chinese Witch Hazel Flowers
One barspoon of Papaya Seeds and a small wedge of Papaya skin
-Combine Gin, tea and Peychauds in tin over cracked ice. Give it a nice long stir.-place seeds into coupe, strain liquids into coupe and garnish with flowers and papaya skin