This is a brain-baby I had cooking for Negroni Week, left unbirthed until now. At the time, the Negronez won (it brought brass knuckles to the fight, I reckon… Seems like the type), BUT am I going to wait until next year’s festivities to bring you this idea? No. Friends don’t withhold. Also, this was too delicious to keep to myself, so there’s that.
The big idea here is to infuse a bold, woodsy gin with Lapsang Souchong tea. This tea has a smoky flavor–and it’s potent, much more so than I would expect from a tea. Needless to say, it’s bunches and bunches of fun to play with.
This drink sounds fussy, but it’s absolutely not. Finding the tea might be the tough part, but once you have your crafty little hands on it, the gin infusion is a simple, half-hour time commitment.
Aaaaaand… If you’re me, you use that time to look through your Twitter drafts and wonder how on Earth you still have friends. No answers on that yet.
I know what you’re thinking, though (about the drink, not my social life): Why not just use scotch or something? And whoa, sister. It. Is. July. Where’s the fresh fruit? Where is the ice? Did you eat it all by the handful in this sweltering summer heat and have you no shame?
All good points. In my defense, smoke is just one of the elements of a scotch’s flavor profile, and some are missing it altogether. Booze is fun that way–and if we infuse some beautifully woodsy, outdoorsy Terroir gin, the effect is smoky, but you’re definitely still drinking gin. It’s almost like going on a hike in the Redwoods, then ending your day next to a (safe, ranger-approved–let’s not be maniacs) campfire.
And yeah, it is indeed midsummer–but for a short drink, this is pretty easygoing. Besides, I have a seasonally-appropriate idea or two brewing for us, so get your Capri Suns ready ‘cos we’re gonna get summerdiculous. Or just make some moonshine smashes for now. Ok? Ok.
Meet you back here soon-ish,
- 2 ounces St. George Terroir gin (or another hefty, woodsy gin)
- 1/2 teaspoon Lapsang Souchong tea
- 1 1/2 ounces Cocchi Americano
- 1 ounce Amaro Montenegro
- Lemon peel, to garnish
- Mix tea leaves into gin and allow to infuse for 30 minutes.
- Strain infused gin and discard solids. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine infused gin with Cocchi Americano and Montenegro and stir until thoroughly chilled. Strain into chilled cocktail glass and garnish.