In a city sunk into the Neath, there are few opportunities for ribaldry. The Traitor Empress cocktail, inspired by Sunless Sea’s dark mirror of Queen Victoria herself, is one of them. Made from gin, Lady Grey tea, lemon and honey, this simple libation is a source of courage for many Unterzee captains and their crew.
- 2 oz chilled Lady Grey tea
- 2 oz London dry gin
- 1/2 oz honey simple syrup
- 1/4 oz lemon juice
- Lavender (optional)
Add all ingredients to a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously until chilled. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with lavender. Serve!
“Her Majesty Victoria, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen, Defender of the Faith, Empress of India. She has many titles, Captain, but few public appearances. She hasn’t left the palace in thirty years—not since London was dragged under the earth.” — The Voracious Diplomat
But it’s these oddities that keep you coming back; the first time I encountered the sisters of Hunter’s Keep, or bought my first load of Tomb-Colonists, I knew this was going to be a game I remembered.
Of course, when designing a cocktail to represent this alternative world of London (and its ruler, the Traitor Empress), it’s obvious that gin and tea would have to feature. After all, apart from pomposity and scones, they’re the two most British things that I can think of.
But cocktails that feature tea are relatively few in comparison to other options. The dark bitterness of English Breakfast isn’t always appealing when combined with other liquors, so I turned to Lady Grey instead—a lighter, more fragrant black tea that also conveniently nods its head towards Queen Victoria herself. Very serendipitous old chap.
I then combined it with some honey and lemon too (classic additions for tea) and shook it all up with a healthy measure or two of gin. Any tea drinker is going to be a fan of this, with the lighter, fragrant notes of the Lady Grey complimenting the dry herbaceousness of the gin, rounded out with the deep sweetness of the honey and balanced with the lemon.
Very simple, but very enjoyable. Perfect for any patriotic Unterzee sailor.
Replace the gin with vodka.
Replace the Lady Grey with Earl Grey.
Replace the lemon juice with lime juice.
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