Weft & Warp at the Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows amplifies the smoked cocktail trend with the Mercury Mirage, a robust, Sazerac-like sipper that uses smoke three ways, including lapsang souchong tea, derived from leaves that are smoke-dried over pinewood fires. Its name alludes to an old mine in North Phoenix that produced mercury, a neurotoxin that left the miners loopy and disoriented – which is how the nearby mountain pass became known as Dreamy Draw.
The equipment and finesse required to make the drink might be prohibitive, but here’s how the W&W lads do it. In a mixing glass with ice, add 2 ½ oz. lapsang souchong-infused Rittenhouse Straight Rye Whiskey*, ¼ oz. Demerara syrup, 4 dashes Hella Smoked Chili Bitters and one lemon peel. Stir for 20-30 seconds. Fill a small spray bottle with absinthe, then spray the snifter three times with it. Pipe smoke into the snifter with a smoke flavor gun or other device – maybe a cigar? – then strain the drink into the snifter for a holiday drink with a campfire nose.
*Mix one cup lapsang souchong leaves with one bottle Rittenhouse Straight Rye Whiskey. Infuse for 45 minutes and strain.