Lapsang Souchong is thought by many to be the original black tea. It is smoked over a pinewood fire giving it its distinctive love-it-or-hate-it flavour. It was the smokiest tea I could find, and I was convinced it would go well with tonic – so much so I was in fact quite peeved that it did not. (Mind you, I think everything’s going to go well with tonic.)
But I got over it and learned the following: a) the way you make this tea is super important – do not steep it longer than 4 minutes or it starts to taste like rubber and b) the smokiness goes really well with sweet rose
The Original Sin Recipe
1 oz Rose Water
4 tsp. Agave syrup
10 oz of cooled Lapsang Souchong tea (as brewed below)
Put all in shaker over ice. Shake with extra vigour to ensure the agave mixes well, and serve over ice. Serves 2.
To brew the tea: for every 3 cups of boiling water use 3 tsp of tea, ideally in a tea ball, in a warmed teapot. Let it steep for 4 minutes. Remove the tea ball, or strain the tea if you’ve just thrown it all together. Let cool.
If you are Satan and prefer stronger tea – do not steep longer! add more tea instead. Well, unless you’re Satan and you want a drink called Rubber Hose, which might be fun…….if you’re Satan. (Turns out the longer you steep it, the more it tastes like rubber)
Continuing my obsession with pepper! Its just so easy and complex a flavour, and works so well with so many other wonderful flavours… though do avoid anything you’d cook a chicken in (ie lemon pepper mocktail might taste you’re drinking a marinade – um, don’t do that).
I have recently come to love rose water, which is inexpensive and not sweetened. The brand I get comes from Lebanon, and is available in a lot of grocery stores. Combined with the pink peppercorns, you’ll instantly be transported to a beautiful marble balcony, the breeze bringing you the lovely aroma of the roses that surround you…..lol, or something like that – it’s Wednesday, you need all the help you can get.
The Wednesday in Beirut Recipe
6 oz pink peppercorn infusion (see below)
1 oz rosewater
2 dashes grapefruit bitters (or garnish with a grapefruit twist)
Fresh rosemary sprigs for garnish (if not using grapefruit!)
In shaker, pour peppercorn infusion, rosewater and bitters over ice. Shake. Pour in serving glass, top with tonic. Garnish with grapefruit or rosemary sprig.
This recipe serves 2 but you can scale up or down as your little heart desires.
Pink Peppercorn Infusion
2.5 cups water
3 Tbsp whole pink peppercorns
2 Tbsp crushed pink peppercorns
Put water and peppercorns in small pot, bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes – the infusion should reduce by up to half (to about 1.25 cups). Remove from heat, let cool. Strain through a fine sieve Refrigerate. Makes 10 oz of pink peppercorn infusion.
You can multiply or divide the recipe, make vats of it if you want. I like things fresh, but you can keep the infusion in the fridge for a couple of days, so you could definitely make ahead of your big party. I can’t resist eating at least some of the soft little pink peppercorns left over from the infusion, and they could also be used as a garnish.