I’m not sure if I love the name Lapsang Souchong or the tea itself more, but these two words conjure up culinary excitement in me. The tea is complex with umami tones and a wonderful ingredient to use in so many recipes. The tea leaves are smoked over a pine fire giving them a distinctive and unique smokey taste. Lapsang Souchong is a Wuyi tea, formerly known by the trade name “Bohea”, and is a category of black and oolong teas grown in the Wuyi Mountains of northern Fujian, China. I’ve used it as the base for this warm cocktail with whisky and lemon cordial, and earthy spices of cinnamon and star anise provide the aromatics in this drink. It could just as easily be made as a hot toddy for medicinal purposes. Either way, it’s an elixir to keep the chills at bay in winter when you need a little warming.
I was first introduced to Lapsang Souchong by my brother in law who is a fellow tea geek and he makes a blend of half Lapsang and half Ear Grey. He uses loose leaves of course, and the combination of these two teas is delicious. Lapsang Souchong can be quite intense on its own and Earl Grey mellows it out giving it the soft citrus notes of bergamot. I have a few recipe ideas using this blend of tea, so watch this space.
Recipe – makes one drink
1 shot whisky
20 – 30ml Roses Lemon Cordial
Brewed Lapsang Souchong tea
cinnamon stick + star anise to garnish
Brew the tea to the optimal intensity and then make your drink as strong as you like it and I use water that has reached boiling point. Normally I prefer to brew my tea at below boiling point but for a black tea its ok to make it hotter. You are also adding two other cooler ingredients which will lower the temperature of the drink down. If you are worried it might be too cool, you can always heat the Lemon Cordial in the microwave before. Personally, I like to have a medium sized hot cocktail. Add the aromatics straight after adding the tea and then add the whisky and Roses Lemon Cordial. I like that the cordial does the job of sweetening the drink whilst adding the lemoniness at the same time.
I love using tea as an ingredient in my cooking & baking so here are few of my favourite recipes: