Sipping on a cup of lapsang souchong is much like drinking in a campfire – in a good way, of course. The traditional Chinese tea boasts beautiful aromas of leather, sweet tobacco and wood, and has a flavor profile that is incredibly mellow, void of any astringency or bitterness. Unsurprisingly, lapsang souchong is often called the “whiskey of teas,” as it shares a similarly smoky aroma and taste to the spirit.
Thanks to its smooth flavor and robust aromatic qualities, lapsang souchong, in addition to being a stellar tea, is a versatile ingredient that can be used in cooking and baking. It can act as a replacer for liquid smoke in cured fish and marinades. It can also be used to infuse desserts with a unique flavor by either steeping the called-for cream or milk with the tea or by grinding it to a powder and adding a pinch to your dish.
Lapsang souchong is also the perfect addition to a variety of cocktails. I particularly enjoy using it in scotch- and whiskey-based drinks, like this whiskey sour fit for a lumberjack. The tea rounds out the cirtrusy sharpness of a whiskey sour without overwhelming its flavor.
One of the easiest ways to use lapsang souchong tea in cocktails is by making a simple syrup using two parts strongly brewed tea and one part sugar (or honey). You can store the syrup in the fridge for up to two weeks, and add it to Old Fashioneds, Sazeracs, and any other classic cocktails (or mocktails) that call for simple syrup.
Serving Size: Makes 1 drink
- 4 grams Holy Smoke lapsang souchong tea
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 ounces whiskey (or scotch)
- 1 ounce lemon juice
- 1 egg white
- 1 lime or lemon slice for garnish
Instructions: Holy Smoke Simple Syrup
- In a small saucepan, brew the Holy Smoke tea in ½ cup of boiling water for 8-10 minutes. (Consider using a tea ball or tea filter to brew the tea so you do not need to strain it once brewed.)
- Add the sugar and stir to dissolve.
- After steeping for about five minutes, discard tea leaves.
Instructions: Holy Smoke Whiskey Sour
- In a cocktail shaker, combine the whiskey, lemon juice, egg white, and 1 ounce of the Holy Smoke simple syrup with a handful of ice cubes.
- Shake until white and frothy. Pour into a glass over ice and garnish with lime or lemon peel.