DRINK OF THE WEEK: Ty Lounge’s TÉ BLANCO

Photo by Nik Blaskovich
Photo by Nik Blaskovich

The well-loved Ty Lounge at the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara had a recent-ish makeover, with an expanded patio that also features a heated floor to warm your tootsies and an uncluttering of the main lounge area. And, yes, they also revamped the cocktail menu. That’s when we turned up. (Hey, that’s when we always turn up!)

There’s three new cocktails to try, and the first one is a doozy. The G & T Cura is an assemble-your-own drink. You get a bit of Plymouth gin in a glass with ice, Fever-Tree tonic on the side, and a platter filled with aromatics, herbs and fruits from The Biltmore’s “secret garden” on the property. Feel like adding cucumber, blackberry, juniper and mint? Go right ahead. And in the center of the platter, a tiny jar of fruit shrub made from citrus and a bit of vinegar to add even more flavor. So many variations! What will yours be?

The next drink is a variation on the Old Fashioned, called the Cherry Amonte, which features local Ascendant Spirits’ Breaker Bourbon infused with dried cherries, chocolate bitters (and you know chocolate pairs with cherry), and a dash of soda and orange. It’s complex and strong, with all the fruit flavors swirling around long after the sip has gone.

The final drink was our favorite, though. The Té Blanco combines light rum, grapefruit bitters and cream over ice. But it’s the rum that is complex, infused as it is with white tea, vanilla and grapefruit. The tea lingers on, and on each sip, the nose is met with the star anise garnish. Lovely! It’s our Drink of the Week.

TÉ BLANCO
2 ounces aged Cruzan white rum, infused with white tea, vanilla and grapefruit (see recipe)
1/2 ounce cream
Dash simple syrup
5 drops Bittermens grapefruit bitters
1 lavender sprig, for garnish
1 anise star, for garnish

Add 2 ounces rum, cream, simple syrup and bitters to shaker, shake and pour into lowball glass filled with ice. Garnish with sprig of lavender and star anise.

To make the infused rum, add 1/2 grapefruit (sliced), vanilla bean and white tea bag to rum and infuse for 24 hours. Strain and bottle.

Ty Lounge at The Biltmore
1260 Channel Drive
969-2261 or www.fourseasons.com

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