Tea has fast become one of the most intriguing ingredients in the bartender's arsenal, allowing for versatile flavor infusions that offer subtle, non-alcoholic background blenders to bolster featured spirits.
For Bing Bing bar manager Max Sherman, tea-tails were a natural way to create Asian-inflected drinks without falling into corny lychee-tini clichés, whether its his smoky Lapsang Dance (with lapsang souchong) or the Sake Balboa spiked with wild and funky pu-erh.
A refreshing Korean-style barley tea steeped from house-roasted grain, meanwhile, is at the base of Tiger Style, one of Bing Bing's popular cocktail pitchers. Blended with Sichuan-spiced ginger syrup, Japanese umeshu plum wine, a tamarind dram, mashed lemon peels, and a bourbon hit of Heaven Hill, this complex brew with a citrusy tang, earthy tea body, and spicy finish, tastes like an Arnold Palmer after a hot night in Chinatown.
- Craig LaBan
Tiger Style cocktail pitcher, $28, Bing Bing Dim Sum, 1648 E. Passyunk Ave., 215-279-7702; bingbingdimsum.com