When people are exploring Oxford Exchange, I often overhear them saying they feel as if stepped outside of Tampa and straight into an English daydream. And they’re right — the arched wood-paneled hallways and striking marble floors are more reminiscent of Claridge’s in London than anything one might expect to find in sunny Tampa.
We wanted to craft a drink that would celebrate the decidedly English vibe of Oxford Exchange. Aside from Earl Grey, there are no flavors more quintessentially English than black currant, gin, and elderflower (sorry, Marmite, you didn’t make the cut).
The blooming of elderflowers has traditionally heralded the start of English summers, and their citrusy sweet scent translates into a flavor that is light, crisp, and perfectly suited to the dryness of gin. This drink is the embodiment of an English country summer.
To create The Oxford, we first prepare a tea-infused simple syrup using raw sugar and our Black Currant tea.
1oz Black Currant simple syrup*
2oz elderflower pressé**
2oz London dry gin
Juice of ½ lemon
Combine the simple syrup, elderflower pressé, gin and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice.
Shake and pour into an ice-filled glass of your choice.
**Elderflower pressé can be found at most specialty supermarkets, such as The Fresh Market.
*BLACK CURRANT SIMPLE SYRUP:
4 tablespoons Black Currant black tea leaves
4 tablespoons German Rock Sugar, or raw sugar
Bring 12 ounces of water to a boil then remove from stove.
Pour into a measuring cup and add the Black Currant black tea.
Steep for 3 minutes, then strain into glass or bowl.
Add rock sugar to the bowl of steeped Black Currant tea and stir until melted.
Makes 12 servings of simple syrup.