Recipe: Afternoon Gin Tea

(Image credit: Christina Holmes)

Gin time and tea time are both entrenched British traditions, and the pair makes quite a heady cocktail. The British colonized much of Asia, and in the process, they brought over their traditions, including a proper English tea. This cocktail picks up both citrus and smoky notes from Lapsang Souchong, a black tea that originates from the Chinese province of Fujian and is made of Lapsang leaves that have been smoked over a pinewood fire.

Gin, of course, has a lurid history as the bathtub spirit of choice during Prohibition, when the homemade brew was clandestinely served in teapots as part of the afternoon ritual. For parties, I like to mull a big batch of this “tea” with Asian-forward herbs like star anise, black peppercorns, and makrut lime leaves. As a wink to tradition, I pour the cocktail from a teapot into teacups.

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Afternoon Gin Tea



  • 1

    star anise pod

  • 1

    dried makrut lime leaf, crumbled

  • 5

    whole black peppercorns

  • 3/4 cup

    hot brewed Lapsang Souchong tea (from the tea bag)

  • 1 teaspoon

    grated fresh ginger

  • 2 tablespoons


  • 4 ounces

    (1/2 cup) Bombay Sapphire East gin


  1. Fill a small square of cheesecloth with the star anise, makrut lime leaf, and peppercorns; tie it closed with twine. In a teapot, combine the spice bag, hot Lapsang Souchong tea, ginger, and honey. Add the gin and stir. Serve immediately in teacups.

Recipe Notes

Reprinted with permission from Lucky Rice by Danielle Chang, copyright (c) 2016. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

(Image credit: Christina Holmes)

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