Is it possible to reap the health benefits of herbs…from a cocktail? While not all experts would agree, Ian Fletcher, beverage director at Tiger Fork in Washington, D.C., argues that it is. “Alcohol, especially Chartreuse, Benedictine, and Amaro, has been used as a vessel for medicine for ages,” he says.
At Tiger Fork, Fletcher works with a Chinese medicine specialist to dream up concoctions that include ingredients purporting to soothe anxiety, boost your immune system, and more. His latest creation, the Eccedentesiast (which means “one who smiles to hide suffering”), uses pain-relieving herbs like hong hua (aka, safflower, which promotes blood circulation), Chinese licorice (to detoxify), poppy leaf and devil’s claw (for pain relief), and St. John’s wort (to fight inflammation and depression).
These herbs get infused into whiskey and are then combined with Giffard Abricot Du Roussillon, club soda, and lemon. The result: What Fletcher calls an “herbal aspirin” that’s “light and refreshing but still in our wheelhouse of weird and funky.” The jury’s out on whether or not it’ll actually cure a headache (and if you drink too many, it’ll surely *cause* one) but either way, it’s the perfect sip for spring and summer.
Tiger Fork, 922 N Street (Rear) NW, Blagden Alley, Washington DC 20001 Ph: 202-733-1152
Prep Time5 minutes
For The Eccedentesiast
- 1 oz Rye Infusion (see recipe below)
- 1 oz Giffard Abricot
- 1/2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
For the rye infusion (makes 32 servings)
Add all herbs to a two liter mason jar. Fill with the rye whiskey. Store at room temperature for at least two days and at most, seven days.
Strain the herbs out of the whiskey, making sure all solids are removed. Rye infusion can be stored at room temperature indefinitely.
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine Rye infusion, Giffard Abricot, and lemon juice. Shake.
Pour over ice into a twelve ounce glass (such as a high ball glass). Top off with soda water and garnish with a lemon wedge.
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