Smoking Barrel

Alcohol content: 12.64g per serve

The festive season wouldn’t be the same without crackling fires and smell of wood smoke in the air and this next highball is for those who love sweet spice, the tingle of smoke and big aromas on their palate. This recipe uses Lapsang Tea, a black tea dried through smoke and extraction, and bitter cocoa to create a sumptuous pairing that works so well in this drink. In this recipe, we’re using ginger ale instead of traditional soda allowing an extra hint of sweet spice to come through for that perfect festive note.

Smoking Barrel cocktail


  • 40ml

    Johnnie Walker Black Label

  • 250ml

    Ginger Ale

  • 200ml

    Lapsang Souchong Tea

  • 25ml

    chilled cocoa (sweet spices optional)

  • 1tablespoon


  • 1

    Pinch of sea salt

  • 2

    Small pinecones

0 units of alcohol per serve


  • 1

    pot or pan

  • 1

    highball glass



  • Method
    • Bring some water to the boil and add the cocoa powder. I recommend using high quality cocoa powder between 75-85% pure cacao.
    • Add some brown sugar - 1 teaspoon of sugar for every 2 teaspoons of cocoa and whisk well to dissolve.
    • Add the Lapsang Tea (2 teaspoons per 250 ml of cocoa mix) and let soak for 3-4 minutes before straining.
    • Add the festive spices of your choice. I recommend green cardamom, ginger, pepper, cinnamon, cloves or star anise and let the cocoa mix chill.
    • Take a highball glass and fill with large ice cubes, add all ingredients except cocoa and mix.
    • Pour the chilled cocoa mix on top while ensuring the layers don’t mix. Use a spoon to help slowly pour the cocoa to sustain the layers.
    • Serve without a straw to ensure the flavour and warmth of the spiced cocoa hits the palate first.
    • Accompany your Smoking Barrel with mini mince pies or chunks of bitter cocoa.