Lapsang Souchong Vodka

Saturday, 4:56 PM: I’ve just dropped a teabag of Lapsang Souchong (from Numi Teas) into in a mason jar with 1 cup of Monopolwa vodka. I’m giving it 24 hours to become delicious. Watch this space.

Saturday, 10:56 PM: 6 hours later, the vodka is darkly colored and smoky smelling. (It’s also rather vodka-smelling, unfortunately … pity the tea doesn’t mask that.) The vodka’s at room temperature, which doesn’t make for easy drinking, but it definitely has a nice, solid Lapsang Souchongy flavor. I’m not sure how much longer I want to leave the tea in … if left much longer the tannins may start coming to the fore.

Saturday, 11:50 PM: Since Lapsang Souchong is often drunk with milk and sugar, this seemed a reasonable test:

1 1/2 oz. Lapsang Souchong infused vodka (~7 hour infusion)
1/2 oz. half and half
1 egg white
1 tsp. powdered sugar

shaken with ice and strained

Rather good, if I do say so myself, though a bit on the creamy side. I didn’t make a fizz of it since I wanted the vodka at full strength, but the briefest shot from a seltzer bottle would probably serve this drink well. Very much like a cup of tea it was, albeit due to ratios it had more the mouthfeel of Bailey’s.

I’ll let the remainder continue to steep overnight, but so far I’m satisfied that a 6 hour infusion is sufficient to make a very nice smoked tea vodka.

Sunday, 1:30 PM: 20 hours, and I’m not sure that there’s been an appreciable change since last night. Mixed the test cocktail above, sans egg white, and it was again just fine. As prepared, with cream and sugar, seemed very like something made with creme de cacao, albeit smokier and more complex. Not that I use creme de cacao very often, but appropriately sweetened (and potentially diluted), the Lapsang Souchong infusion could easily replace it to significant advantage.

4 thoughts on “Lapsang Souchong Vodka”

  1. Perhaps the old Brita filter trick would clean most of the vodka smell out, but it may also eliminate the taste. Depends on what tastes the drink requires out of the vodka.

  2. Yah, well, I’d filter the vodka first, I think, instead of after infusing it. This was purely a test run with a cup of some random vodka I’ve had in the freezer for god knows how long.

    I’m thinking that instead of pouring hypercheap vodka through the Brita 4 or 5 times — which seems to be what’s required — I’ll just use grain-neutral spirits diluted to 80° instead. At $13.95 for 750ml, Everclear is very price-competitive with cheap domestic Vodkas (750ml of Baron Rothschild, Fleishmann’s Royal, Oregon Spring, Potters et al. are right around $6.25) and I suspect they do a better job of filtering Everclear than a Brita would.

    Maybe not though… I just assume that 190° grain alcohols are filtered to a higher standard, since they’re potentially intended for food-science purposes and whatnot, but that may be a mistake. The folks who bring us Monarch Vodka are just diluting from grain-neutral themselves, and tout that it’s double charcoal filtered for extra purity.

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