Drinking in Season: Smoky Iced Tea and Whiskey Cooler

Drinking in Season

Putting the season’s perfect produce into your cocktail shaker.


[Photograph: Kelly Carámbula]

Lately I've been thinking about classic summertime drinks. One of the first refreshing hot-weather beverages that came to mind was iced tea. No, I'm not talking about Long Island iced tea, but rather something a bit more sophisticated and unexpected.

Since tea was going to be the star of this cocktail, I want to go with something that had a bit of complexity. I chose smoky Lapsang Souchong as my base ingredient. One whiff of this tea and there's no question what it will taste like: smoky, earthy, and intense. But that aggressive flavor can be shifted a bit when combined with other ingredients in a cocktail.

Lemon juice brightens the mixture and rounds out the smokiness a bit, while whiskey brings richness and body that balances the savory side of the tea. A touch of Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur is the final piece of the puzzle. The cocktail is smoky and complex without being heavy. It's got a lightness that comes from the lemon juice and spice from the ginger liqueur that make for a dangerously sippable iced tea cocktail.

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Smoky Iced Tea and Whiskey Cooler »