Campfire Old Fashioned

Lapsang souchong tea is the secret sauce in this smoky, booze-free riff on an old-fashioned cocktail—ginger and vanilla create a warm and spicy finish.

  • Serves

    makes 1 cocktail

  • Cook

    5 minutes


By Derek Brown

Published on January 28, 2021

Featured in: Beyond Dry January: How to Make Excellent Nonalcoholic Cocktails at Home

Created by bartender-author Derek Brown of Washington D.C.’s lauded Columbia Room, this smoky tea-based cocktail proves that a drink doesn’t have to have alcohol to pack an aromatic punch. Brown calls out the use of strongly-brewed lapsang souchong tea, which can be used reliably as a nonalcoholic aromatic base. Vanilla extract and ginger offer sugar and spice, while the egg white is whipped up for texture.



  • One 3-inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 oz. strongly brewed smoked black tea, such as lapsang souchong, cooled to room temperature
  • 13 oz. ginger syrup
  • 3 drops alcohol-free vanilla extract, such as Heilala
  • 3 dashes non-alcoholic bitters, such as Stirrings
  • One 2-inch strip of orange peel, for garnish


Step 1

Set a fine mesh strainer over a small bowl. Using a fine grater, grate the ginger over the strainer, taking care to catch all of the juices. Press firmly on the ginger pulp to extract as much juice as possible, then discard the solids. Measure 2 teaspoons of the ginger juice, reserving the rest for another use.

Step 2

In a second small bowl, whisk the egg white until light and slightly frothy, about 30 seconds. Transfer the egg white into a mixing glass, then add the tea, ginger syrup, ginger juice, vanilla extract, bitters, and 5–6 cubes of ice. Using a bar spoon or chopstick, stir gently until the liquid is chilled. Strain into a rocks glass, top with fresh ice, garnish with an orange peel, and serve immediately.

Continue to Next Story

Want more SAVEUR?

Get our favorite recipes, stories, and more delivered to your inbox.