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If you haven’t already heard, then let me be the one to tell you: Tea is not just for your afternoon cuppa.

For a recent cocktail party, Tony and I demonstrated a moment of serendipitous marital and culinary harmony when we both reached for the tea leaves. Keeping with our usual kitchen division of labor, I made the salty snack, he made the cocktail. They married beautifully.

Smoky Peanuts
1 tablespoon lightly beaten egg white
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon Lapsang souchong tea leaves, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup salted cocktail peanuts
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk egg white, sugar, tea, and salt together in a small bowl. Stir in the peanuts and spread in 1 layer on baking sheet.
Bake, stirring occasionally, until nuts are dry, about 7 minutes.
Cool on the baking sheet on a rack; then serve (the nuts will crisp as they cool.)
The Leaving Manhattan
2 ounces bourbon
1/2 ounce Punt e Mes
1/4 ounce dark creme de cacao
1/4 ounce Lapsang tea syrup
2 dashes orange bitters

First, make the tea syrup:
Combine 4 ounces hot strong lapsang souchong tea and 1/2 cup granulated sugar; stir to dissolve the sugar. Let cool to room temperature before using. Refrigerate leftovers.

Combine all the ingredients; stir over ice and strain into a chilled glass.