For a girl who refuses to even leave her room without her red lipstick. (Who can probably put on lipstick in the dark.) A girl who can do two things I can’t even contemplate: wear high heels and write complicated market reports. A girl who taught me that big skirts and lady-like dresses are for all occasions, especially when matched with yellow tights and ginger hair.
For a girl who likes things that are funny (read: odd). Who started me drawing on fruit in the first place. Who used to hide under my duvet to surprise me, then storm out when I didn’t turn up. Who used to bang on my door at 8am to tell me the latest escapade. Because it was funny.
And finally, for a girl who drank so much tea that she had a tea-making alarm clock. Ten cups a day would be normal, even a little under-ambitious. Normally Earl Grey, but white tea for a hangover. She took me to an underground prohibition-style bar in New York that served cocktails in – what else? – neat white tea cups.
So, because she is bossy and I promised her a recipe for something you can make without an oven: my new favourite cocktail. A hint of bergamot, a splash of lemon. A generous dose of gin and a touch of ginger.
Lady Grey Marteani with a ginger twist
45ml tea-infused gin
30ml ginger syrup
20ml lemon juice
lots of ice cubes
Prepare ahead: In a large jar, add two tea bags or a generous tablespoon of leaf tea (either Earl Grey or Lady Grey) to about 250ml of nice gin. Gently shake the jar and leave for two hours. Remove tea bags or strain the gin.
In a small saucepan, heat 125g sugar, 125ml water and 2cm fresh ginger, grated. Bring to a boil, stir to make sure the sugar has dissolved and take off the heat. Leave to cool for two hours. Strain. (Alternatively, skip this step and use the syrup in a jar of preserved ginger.)
To make the Marteani: Shake all the ingredients with lots of ice in a cocktail shaker, or if you haven’t got one, in a large jar. For a very strong, intense cocktail, strain and serve without ice. For a less potent concoction, serve with the ice to slightly dilute the cocktail. Martini glasses optional. Tea cups possible.