Cocktail: The Voice Of The Wood | Bartender: Stephen Luo

The idea behind this cocktail is from the experience of how lapsang tea is made. My family visited Fuzhou city in China in 2014. We learned that the pinewood is the only type of wood used for drying the tea leaves.The burning pinewood creates the perfect amount of smoke and releases a fragrance that infuses the leaves with a slightly smoky, woody flavour. In China, the pine tree stands for perseverance, referring to its power and ability to stand out under an uncertain natural environment. An old villager told me that pinewood was used by the first king of the Han dynasty, as one of his favourite accessories during his reign, to remind himself that it is not those who win that become a legend, but rather those who lose but never quit. “That is the voice of the wood,” he said.

Cocktail: The Voice Of The Wood | Bartender Atlas

Photo: Foodie Fob

2 oz Lot 40 Rye Cask Strength Edition
0.75 oz Lapsang tea infused sweet vermouth
0.25 oz of Maraschino Cherry liqueur
1 dash of Boker’s bitters
2 dashes of Angostura bitters

Stir in a mixing glass and strain into a flat bottom coupe glass with a clear ice cube. Garnish with skewered cherry. Express lemon oil over glass. Discard the peel.


Stephen Luo
I started my bartending career in 2013 and worked at various restaurants and bars in Toronto. At one of my previous job, I was responsible for developing seasonal cocktail menus, teaching cocktail lessons, and worked at spirit tasting events with different brand ambassadors. It is my privilege to work with the hospitality professionals across the city. Currently working at Blue Blood Steakhouse in Toronto.

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