At this year’s Toronto Tea Festival I had a quick opportunity to stop at teALCHEMY’s booth and was introduced to their tea products. One of the exciting products was a book called Tea-Tails, which I was able to get a copy for myself, too. Tea-Tails starts with an introduction to tea infused cocktails and the healing properties. There are also a few other sections on tea powders, syrups and tips and tricks related to preparing tea and throwing a tea party. With all of this, it is still mainly a recipe book where the author shares her love and knowledge for tea and mixology.
You have your classics like mojito, manhattan and margaritas enhanced with teas but Lynda also shares some other creative and decadent tea infused drinks. Whether you’re infusing a sencha green tea in some gin or pu’erh in some cognac this book offers 27 different tea cocktails to recreate or even inspire for your own.
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My personal favourite in the book is actually an old fashioned that is mixed with some Lapsang Souchong tea. When I first got the book, I was flipping through the pages and this one stood out, especially since just before I had created some vegan tea “bacon” with that exact tea. An old fashioned isn’t usually something you would find me drinking, but the Mad Men style drink is suitable for this advertising graduate. An original old fashioned is typically bourbon or whiskey mixed with sugar, water and bitters and of course, this version has some smokiness. Guess what? You can try this drink out for yourself now! Special thanks to Lynda and Roxanne of teALCHEMY for letting me share that recipe below for my readers.
Originating in the 19th century, the Old Fashioned was created for the drinkers who longed for the good ol’ days when umbrellas were still used for rainy days and not for decoration in one’s drink. Going back to the root of it all, it’s only fitting that we make our Old Fashioned with Lapsang Souchong, one of the oldest, truest types of tea available. Grown in the Wuxi Mountains, the leaves are withered over pine or cypress wood fires and then pan-fired and rolled. Next they are pressed into wooden barrels, covered with a cloth and left to oxidize. The leaves are fried and rolled into tight strips and finally hung in baskets over smoking pine wood fires to dry. The intensely black leaves give a dark red liquor that has a distinctive smoky aroma and flavour.
- 1 oz. honey syrup
- 4 oz. boiling water
- 2 oz. Bourbon
- 1 oz. steeped Lapsang Souchong black tea
- Orange or lemon for garnish
- To a heatproof container, add 1 tablespoon tea leaves and 4 oz. boiling water. Steeped for 3-4 minutes.
- Fine strain out the liquid and refrigerate, covered.
- To a rocks glass, add a thumb-sized piece of lemon zest and/or orange zest and 1 oz. honey syrup. Muddle lightly.
- Fill the glass with ice and add 2 oz. Bourbon and 1 oz. Lapsing Soughing tea. Stir to mix and add garnish.
- To make the honey syrup, add 1 teaspoon hot water to 2 ounces honey, stir to mix. This will keep the honey from clumping.