Fort Que L'amour (Cultivar)

Alexis Jesup

A phrase plucked from a Moroccan ode to mint tea gives this frothy gin drink from Cultivar its curious name.

“The first steeping of a mint tea is very mild and somewhat weak,” says bar director Dan Lynch. “The second steeping is fort que l’amour, which means ‘strong as love.’”

It’s a fitting phrase for the cocktail, which features a syrup made from double-strength Moroccan mint tea. The syrup co-stars with Tanqueray No. 10 gin, which Lynch chose for its subtler juniper character.

Fresh lime juice, egg white, and a French liqueur called Génépy des Alpes round it all out. Lynch describes Génépy as an Alpine herb liqueur that is similar to yellow Chartreuse but more mild in character; he uses it to counteract the egg white.

“Egg white actually dries things out a bit,” Lynch says. “A little liqueur offsets that.”

The drink is first shaken dry—to combine the ingredients with the egg—before it is shaken with ice. It’s finished by a mint sprig and a float of Peychaud’s.

The end result is bright and bold with a light creamy texture and a luscious minty flavor. Well worth the French lesson—and then some.

Fort Que L’amour
1½ ounces Tanqueray No. 10
¾ ounce lime juice
½ ounce Moroccan mint tea syrup*
½ ounce Dolin Génépy des Alpes
1 egg white
1 dash Peychaud’s bitters, for float
Mint sprig, for garnish

Combine all ingredients in shaker tin without ice and shake until combined. Add ice and shake again until chilled. Double strain into coupe glass, garnish with mint sprigs, and float 1 dash of Peychaud’s bitters.

*Moroccan mint tea syrup (yields about 1.5 cups)
2 teaspoons Jenwey Moroccan mint tea
1 cup water
1 cup sugar  

Heat water to just before boiling in a saucepan. Remove from heat and add tea. Allow tea to steep for 4-5 minutes then remove. Add sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Store in sealed container and refrigerate for up to 1 month.

Brian Samuels

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