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Cheers! Tempest without a teapot

Lester Graham
Michigan Radio
The ingredients for the Tempest.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, sometimes we’ve all had to learn to make do with whatever we happen to have at home. That’s what Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings had to do to make a new cocktail recipe she found.

It all started with peaches being in season.

“In my neighborhood we have some shared peach trees and they have been pretty bountiful this year. But a lot of them are a little bit on the wormy side or kind of small and not doing so great. So they're not necessarily something I want to eat out of hand, but I can totally muddle them up and put them into a cocktail,” Tammy said.

The recipe she found called for spiced rum. While there are some nice Michigan spiced rums these days, she didn’t have any at home. She did have Wood Boat Rum made by Mammoth Distilling in Central Lake, a small village between Traverse City and Charlevoix.

Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
Tammy Coxen shaking up the Tempest.

“So, I thought, what can I do with the rum that I already have? And I thought about one of my favorite infusion techniques. So we think of infusions as taking a long time. But if you infuse with tea, it takes hardly any time at all. And if you infuse with chai tea, then you've got spiced rum,” Tammy explained.

And so the cocktail, called the Tempest, ended up being a tempest without a teapot.

“I just infused about a tablespoon of chai tea, loose-leaf if you have it, or one tea bag if you don't, with six to eight ounces of the Mammoth rum. You want aged rum for this,” Tammy said.

It takes a couple of hours for the tea to infuse. The rest of the recipe calls for bitters, lemon juice, and ginger beer (see recipe below).

The Tempest

Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
Garnish with a peach slice or a pretty flower.

2 slices fresh peach

1 1/2 oz spiced rum (or chai tea infused rum)

1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice

2 dashes of Angostura bitters

3 ounces chilled ginger beer

Garnish: peach slice (or a flower if you've got one and you're feeling pretty)

Combine all except ginger beer in shaker with ice. Shake well and double-strain into highball or rocks glass. Add ginger beer, then fill glass with ice.

Chai Tea Infused Rum

6-8 oz aged rum

1 tbsp loose leaf chai tea (or one tea bag)

Combine ingredients in a jar and let steep 2-5 hours to taste. Strain. 

Find the source of the Tempest here.

Tammy says the Tempest is a riff on the Dark and Stormy, a classic cocktail from Bermuda. She says it’s important to add the ginger beer before you add ice so that the ingredient mix well together.

Tammy Coxen and Lester Graham are the authors of Cheers to Michigan: A Celebration of Cocktail Culture and Craft Distillers from the University of Michigan Press. The book is based on the Cheers! episodes heard on Michigan Radio.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.
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