© Anjali Pinto
There’s no doubt that nutty, pleasantly bitter matcha (green tea powder) is enjoying some time in the limelight right now. Delicious in a latte, cupcake or even a macaroon, it’s also a trendy new ingredient in cocktails. Here, five ways bartenders are shaking, stirring and infusing matcha into incredible drinks.
Matcha Bee’s Knees; Ramen-san, Chicago
A classic Bee’s Knees cocktail is made with gin, lemon juice and honey syrup—the perfect spring drink. But since some of us are still encountering flurries on the way to work, Ramen-san swaps out gin for matcha-infused Four Roses bourbon and lemon juice for a more flavorful yuzu juice. Shaken and strained into an ice-filled Collins glass, the cocktail is garnished with a bouquet of mint leaves and a lemon peel rosette.
Matcha Do About Nothing; Gracias Madre, Los Angeles
This West Hollywood Mexican spot makes a complex and creamy cocktail with tequila blanco, matcha, coconut milk, toasted sesame seed-infused agave, tapioca pearls cured in edamame syrup and house-made lime bitters. The cross-cultural, pastel-green drink is served garnished with a cherry blossom and a big straw to suck up the tapioca.
Speak Low; Angel’s Share, New York City
A rum drink specifically designed not to be like a mojito or daiquiri, the Speak Low is made with aged rum, Pedro Ximénez sherry and matcha powder. Double-strained into an old-fashioned glass over one large hunk of ice, the cocktail is dark, rich and bracingly bitter.
Matcha Rickey; Hinoki & the Bird, Los Angeles
A standby on Hinoki & the Bird’s drink list, the Matcha Rickey combines gin with matcha simple syrup, lime juice and fragrant Thai basil leaves. Shaken and strained into an ice-filled Collins glass, the grass-green cocktail almost looks like a healthy juice.
BK; Chino, San Francisco
Clean, herbaceous and bitter, Chino’s take on a gimlet includes shiso-infused gin, matcha and lime juice. Served up in a small coupe, it’s garnished with a shiso leaf for extra aromatics.