This alcohol-free adult beverage was part of an exploration of smokey and deep flavors that I’ve embarked upon this winter to combat the deep-freeze here in the northeast.
Looking for something reminiscent of sipping whiskey in a cigar lounge in the 90s, or sitting in a leather chair by the fire, my goal was to create some deep complex flavors. The final product does not disappoint. WIth complex notes of smoke, tea, lemon, clove and molasses and a spicy finish, this cocktail is meant to satisfy an adult palate.
I stated with a beautiful lapsang souchong that I secured from my friend Adrienne at Admari Tea in Miami. This is some strong and beautiful tea. She advised me when I bought it that it is the good stuff so it may have been a bit of blasphemy to mix it into a cocktail, but the smokey depths shine through beautifully. To the lapsang souchong, I added a melange of winter-warmth spices – allspice and clove and a touch of heat.
After much experimentation i realized the smokiness needed to be cut with something brighter to make this a balanced cocktail. In comes the earl grey tea with its citrus brightness to balance it out, along with a little ginger in the brown sugar syrup I created.
Although the resulting admittedly has three parts that need to be made and cooled, it is worth it in the end. I’ve also found that the ginger sugar syrup is great on ice cream and the spiced tea makes a spicy take on a Starbucks London fog when combined with steamed milk.
I hope you’ll give this a try and let me know what you think!
Scroll Below for Full Recipe
Links to ingredients and equipment: