Queen Mother’s Little Helper 2.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Carolyn Robb for The Washington Post

Spirits Feb 7, 2020

The tisane base of this drink incorporates juniper and citrus, classic gin botanicals, into a warm, tea-like brew. Add London dry gin and Angostura bitters, and you have a delicate drink rich with citrus and spice. (Note: You can omit the gin for a nonalcoholic sip, simply serving the tisane with the bitters.)

Storage Notes: The tisane can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.


Servings:
2

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 2 servings

Ingredients
  • For the tisane
  • 1/4 cup juniper berries
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice berries
  • 1/2 teaspoon white peppercorns
  • 4 cups water
  • Peel of 1 grapefruit, stripped with a peeler, avoiding the white pith
  • Peel of 1 navel orange, stripped with a peeler, avoiding the white pith
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • For the drinks
  • 1 cup juniper tisane
  • 3 ounces dry gin
  • 4 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 twists orange peel, for garnish

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Directions

Make the juniper tisane: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, toast the juniper berries, star anise, coriander, allspice and peppercorns until fragrant (the juniper berries will begin to look oily).

Add the water, then the citrus peels, twisting them over the surface of the water to express the oils.

Add the sugar and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer to infuse, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain out (and discard) the solids and reserve the liquid. The yield is about 3 3/4 cups (enough for 6 to 7 drinks).

Make the drinks: In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, bring the tisane to a simmer. Add the gin and let rewarm for 30 seconds, then divide equally between two teacups. Add 2 dashes bitters to each drink, then garnish with the orange peel — twisted over the surface of each drink, then dropped in — stir and serve.

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Recipe Source

From Spirits columnist M. Carrie Allan.

Tested by M. Carrie Allan.

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