sultan's tea Shiraz

2018 Best Cocktails in America: The Sultan's Tea

These 10 cocktails, representing leading bar trends, were selected by editors of Restaurant Hospitality to spotlight innovation. Read on and get inspired. See all the winners >>

Where to find it: Shiraz, Las Vegas

Price: $13

Creator: Jozef Letasi

Ingredients: El Dorado 3-year rum, infused with Earl Grey and Ceylon tea, orange syrup, lemon, cream

Trend: Rum steps off the tropical-drink path

The restaurant Shiraz is named for the ancient Iranian city, known for its colorful gardens and art. The restaurant, which specializes in Indian, Pakistani and Persian cuisine, opened about six months ago off the strip in Las Vegas, and manager Jozef Letasi set out to create a signature cocktail tied to the restaurant name.

He first got the idea in the shower after recognizing the citrusy scent of bergamot in his shampoo. It’s an element of Earl Grey tea also, so Letasi decided to create a cocktail that brought in an element of the bergamot flavor in tea.

So Letasi infuses a 3-year-old El Dorado rum with Earl Grey and Ceylon tea, which brings in some tannin to balance the sweetness of a dash of orange syrup and lemon juice.

Letasi tops it with a layer of cream sweetened with a touch of Cointreau — the sultans were rich, so the drink should be too, he said.

An orange wheel enhances the aroma of a few drops of bergamot oil to scent the cream, and he sometimes garnishes the drink with a pinch of Himalayan salt.

The drink can be enjoyed before or after dinner. Letasi said it’s a cocktail that shows rum’s versatility beyond overly sweet tiki cocktails and punch.

TAGS: Drink Trends
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