Tea mocktails. Tea-infused Virgin Mary
Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t stopped enjoying pure teas brewed hot but spending my first summer in Los Angeles is giving me a lot of inspiration. I’m using teas that aren’t usually used in cocktails and mocktails (move over, Earl Grey and Chai) because why not? It’s fun!
The recipe I adapted here comes from a mocktail book my mom-in-law gifted me for Christmas (it’s in German and the title is “Mocktails. Das Barhandbuch”). The original recipe for the Smoky Mary from the above mentioned book calls for tomato juice, Lapsang Souchong tea, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce, which I believe is a great combination, especially considering that the average Lapsang Souchong is super smoky. I didn’t have it on hand, therefore I substituted it for smoked Tian Jian, which is much more subtle, and skipped Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce altogether. Tian Jian is Hei Cha or dark tea from Hunan province, China. It’s a type of post-fermented tea similar to puerh (wet-piling and all). Additionally, it undergoes low-heat smoking and ageing in bamboo baskets. For extra dimension in the final mocktail, I opted for celery salt to season and radish sprouts to garnish, which pack a great peppery punch. You won’t miss the vodka, I promise!
Ingredients for 1 mocktail:
6 oz tea concentrate (recipe below)
3 oz tomato juice
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Celery salt to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper
Radish sprouts to garnish
In a mixing glass mix tea concentrate, tomato juice and lemon juice. Season with celery salt and black pepper and stir well to combine. Fill a tall glass with ice cubes, pour the tea and tomato mixture over the ice cubes and garnish with radish sprouts. Serve immediately.
6 gr smoked Tian Jian heicha tea leaves
6 oz filtered water at 212 F
Steep, covered, for 5 minutes. Strain and let cool completely before using.