Just as it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere, the “Noonish” Tea Time cocktail from Maxwella Cafe & Bar in Redmond, Washington, follows the same logic encouraging guests to indulge in the English-inspired drink.
The name may be a bit cheeky but the intentions certainly weren’t. Bar manager Steven Beck says he wanted to create a drink for the cafe’s weekend brunch crowd that would also work for the rest of the week.
“You know it’s great on a Saturday, great on a Sunday but it’s also great at 5 o’clock in the afternoon on a Tuesday,” Beck explains.
A big tea drinker himself, the bartender wanted to do something with the aromatic beverage in a cocktail format. Starting with a classic and staying true to the theme of an afternoon tea — a tenured British food tradition of taking late afternoon (usually around 4 p.m.) tea with a smattering of baked goods — Beck chose English Breakfast tea as his base. Before landing on a London Dry-style gin, he says he played around with vodka and bourbon but none provided the nice clean taste that didn’t overpower the tea.
“I added the fresh lemon and a bit of elderflower and it just kind of brightened it up a lot more, made it a little more floral-y with the elderflower and added a little more sweetness but not too much,” Beck says.
Maxwella Cafe & Bar opened earlier this year and is the product of local restaurateur Taylor Hoang. Over the past year as the restaurant was developing and growing, Beck creating innovative ideas for drinks that would get customers excited. Noon-ish Tea Time, as the name suggests, is the perfect way to settle in for a leisurely afternoon weekend or not.
Noonsh Tea Time
Makes 1 cocktail
1 1/4 ounces gin
1 ounce St-Germain elderflower liqueur
1/2 ounce agave syrup
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
6 ounces English Breakfast tea, chilled
In a cocktail shaker, add the gin, elderflower liqueur, agave syrup and lemon juice. Add ice, cap and shake. Strain the drink into a Collins glass over fresh ice and garnish with the lemon wheel and mint sprig.