One of my guilty pleasures when it comes to overindulging myself with matcha is to turn it into a cocktail mix. Yes, makes cocktails incredibly bearable. Over the weekend, a dear friend who was a mixologist taught me how to make a mean matcha cocktail, and man, were the flavors delightful to the palate. Hit me up if you’d like the recipe. Today, I’m going to introduce you to the bars that set the bar (lol) for my matcha cocktails across my travels. You guys need to try these.
Matcha Do About Nothing @ Gracias Madre in California
Art of Tea’s ceremonial-grade matcha meets tequila blanco, coconut milk, toasted sesame-infused agave tapioca pearls on a scented in savory edamame syrup, lime bitters and a cherry blossom garnish. It has a unique taste of a wheatgrass, far from being just a traditional green tea. It pairs incredibly with the high Brix Jalisco Tequila Blanco, according to Eisner. Along with it, the cocktail is a slightly savory, creamy adult boba.
Matcha Bees Knees @ Ramen-san in Chicago
A grassy-sweet cocktail. It’s a pleasant combination of matcha, aromatic yuzu bourbon, lemon and honey. It was Chef Psaltis and general manager Amarit Dulyapaibul’s idea to create a super refreshing and customer-friendly matcha cocktail. The goal was to innovate the earthy bitter taste of matcha into a gentle and healthy beverage through mixing it with an equally natural ingredient, sweet bee’s honey.
Koicha Matcha @ Torino in Detroit
A kind of spring drink. This cocktail corresponds to the taste of the classically spirited Bols Genever with a grassy matcha factor. Mixed together are lemon, gomme, honey, ginger mate tea and egg white. Lemon lightens up the color of the beverage’s main substances while ginger and honey plays an equally vital role, so as to highlight the earthy flavors and give the drink balance.
Matcha-Man Mai Tai @ Fig Restaurant in LA
A day-friendly kind of Mai Tai. The cocktail is a delish drink that was meant to be enjoyed during daytime. The beverage maker Vincent Arter personally created this uniquely purposed cocktail. Matcha drinks are conventionally made with alternatives soy and almond milk, so he created a coconut orgeat from which he stated: “It gives the cocktail what I like to call ‘the X factor’—that subtle surprise for your taste buds.”
I Dream of Greenie @ Melrose Umbrella Co in LA
Made with plum-infused El Silencio Mezcal, avocado, matcha green tea, lime and Licor 43, the cocktail literally looks refreshingly green.
Bartender Patterson shared three reasons behind his using matcha for the beverage. First is to neutralize the sweetness of the fruit-infused mescal. The second one is to create art out of the ceremonial green tea, which he actually achieved. Lastly, the ingredients are all green-colored.
The First Lady @ The Garret in NY
This cocktail is made out of gin, Combier, matcha, lemon, egg white and fresh basil. Bartender Wheeler, who has a great enthusiasm when it comes to matcha cocktails described it as having a “nice balance between a vegetal bitterness and a slight sweetness,” expressing his love for the verdant powder. He created the delightfully unique twist by combining the grassy notes of matcha that is complemented by the London Dry gin’s botanicals.
Matcha Mule @ Forge Lounge in Seattle
This cocktail is made out of vodka infused with matcha, lime and Cock ‘n Bull ginger beer. This was an accidental fruition resulting from bartender Bradfor’s ginger ale mishap in Japan, a misfortune that actually led to a lot of good fortune. In describing it he said, “The ginger is sharp and biting and the matcha has that nice earthy tone and the contrast is great in glass together”.
So those are some of my top 6. I experimented with them to some degree of success and they didn’t some close to the originals but they’re good enough. Amidst the little mishap where we lacked some of the necessary bottles to keep the mixes going and resorting to online liquor delivery, I’d say it all worked out pretty well.