It's nearly prime cocktail season but not quite, so here's a sweet, smoky little something to keep the stormy nights at bay until then.
10tsp No. 03 Lapsang Souchong
Plenty of ginger beer
A few sprigs of day-old rosemary
A lime or two (optional)
First you'll need some tea-infused rum.
Pour the rum into a decanter and spoon in the Lapsang Souchong, then give it all a good swirl.
You'll want to let it steep for 6-8 hours, but any more than that and it will start to taste a little astringent, so leave it somewhere obvious and give it a swirl whenever you think of it.
When the steeping time is up strain it back into the rum bottle or another container - you can use a basket infuser, or something a bit finer like clean cheesecloth if you're worried about the sediment.
You'll notice that you're left with less rum than when you started - that tea soaks up a lot so you might want to try to squeeze a bit more out of it with a flat spoon.
Then comes the good part - drinking it.
Mix 1 part infused rum with 3-4 parts ginger beer and pour over ice. If you find it isn't sweet enough for your tastes or you just want an extra kick, squeeze some lime into the glass.
Now take a sprig of that rosemary - if you picked it yesterday it should be dry enough that you can pop it into your glass and light the leaves so that they smolder and trail smoke up into the air.
It's basically just for shape and colour though - for the love of god, don't try to drink from the glass while the rosemary's still smoldering and burn your pretty face.
And that's how you make a Dark and Smoky.