There are many hot alcoholic drinks, from something as simple as bourbon in coffee to Irish coffee to elaborate hot toddies. For a few years, I have been enjoying an occasional nightcap that I've not heard of elsewhere, but I suspect is not original - a jolt of blended scotch in hot oolong tea.

I was inspired by a scene in the movie Mrs. Brown, in which Queen Victoria's Highland gardener, who scandously became her companion after she was widowed, poured some malt whisky into her tea. She enjoyed it, and, as I recall (it's been some years since I saw the movie), began to take her afternoon tea that way.

The flavors of the two beverages seem to go together. I use a good Chinese oolong, not one of those non-descript Chinese grocery or take-out ones.

I like Taylor of Harrogate's China Oolong, which I buy online from British Express in Florida. They describe it as "Finest quality Oolong from the first crop plucked between April and mid-May. A semi-fermented black china tea. Full-bodied with a fragrant flavor and fruity, sweet aroma. This flavour is the result of climatic conditions and the height at which it is grown. China Oolongs are still handmade following the traditional manufacturing process. Serve without milk, sugar or honey."

(Note that they don't say to serve it without whisky. )

I find that it also has a pleasant dry straw aroma and a very slight smoky quality (but nothing at all like lapsong-suchong, though, which is very smoky).

The fruitiness and smoke of the malt component and the sweetness of the grain component of the scotch complement the tea's flavors very nicely. About an ounce in an eight ounce (250 ml) cup seems about right.

I have used my two "house" blended scotches, Grant's and Teacher's, as well as my premium house pour, Johnnie Walker Black. They are all nice, and the Johnnie Black is noticeably nicer. I've not tried single malts - somehow that seems wrong. But, hey! It's my whisky, and I suppose I should try it.

I could get into Gillmanizing and use blends of different teas and whiskies, but I think I'll keep it simple.

I did do a little Googling of the subject and see that a long drink of green tea and Scotch is becoming popular with middle class Chinese. I also discovered that "scotch tea" was slang for whisky in the 19th Century.

Jeff