Sometimes you want nothing more than to come home, stir up a cool drink, and sit back for a six-hour adaptation of a 19th century novel of manners. Come on, it can’t just be us. We decided to craft the perfect drink for such an evening so that you can be fully prepared should the opportunity arise to slip in your old videotapes of the BBC miniseries (or a DVD of the Keira Knightley version – we don’t judge).
In testing this drink, we both had an amusing realization. When asked, after an experimental sip, whether it made me want to adventure into the English countryside and fall in love with a handsome, proud Englishman, I had to look askance at my dining companion.
“Well,” I began, “since there is never a time when I don’t want to fall into the plot of Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice, I couldn’t tell you if the drink makes any difference or not.”
Raised to expect that I might someday find my own Fitzwilliam Darcy, rich and intriguingly aloof, I have never quite managed to relinquish the fantasy of my youth. As such, I can’t say with any conviction just how universally evocative these flavors are. How much of my enjoyment is based on the delicate flavors of bergamot and sweet, floral elderflower? And how much is a little honest romanticizing of the days when a healthy flush on the cheeks of a lady was considered alluring? We both laughed at this thought and agreed that the name fit the drink well. What better way to describe that beloved object of Western womanhood’s longings, Mister Darcy, than this: faintly bitter from the black tea, gentle and formal in flavor, tart with lemon, but overall unexpectedly intoxicating.
While the true magic of this drink may only be felt by a certain class of Western Lit-raised romantics, we’re counting on you to test it out. Are you transported to a gentler time when you taste this classic lemon and tea combination? Does the first bloom of flavor whisk you away to a coming-out ball on a hot London night? Or, maybe, is it just a darn refreshing drink?
Either way, enjoy this in true English fashion – pretending it’s a lovely summer’s day even when skies are clearly overcast.
The Mr. Darcy – Serves 1 (First We Eat)
- 4.5 fl. oz. Earl Grey Tea, chilled
- 3 oz. Vodka
- 1.5 oz. Elderflower Syrup (We used Monin)
- Half a lemon squeezed, plus rind for garnish
- Put ice, earl grey tea, vodka, elderflower syrup, and lemon juice into a cocktail shaker and shake until well combined.
- Strain into a glass over ice and garnish with lemon rind. Enjoy!