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“Wrestling of dragon and tiger” is a traditional way of tea drinking among some ethnic groups of Yunnan. It’s not 100% puerh (and sometimes black tea is used instead). It’s a mixture of liquor and puerh. I’ve read about it in quite a few books but have never seen it’s practiced. So I did mine based on guestimation :-p
In my nutrition knowledge, it may be very unhealthy to take alcohol and caffeine together, when both are in large doses. But with large amount of one and small amount of the other, it seems ok. That’s why Irish coffee with Bailey is supposed to be ok, but nobody would put a shot of rum in a shot of espresso.
I made my “wrestling” drink tonight, because it has been cold and I thought some brandy and some shu puerh may boost up some warmth. Too bad I only have a cheap ginger flavored brandy, which is supposed to be my “flu medication” (learned of it from my Irish neighbor!). But I used it anyway, along with my shu puerh left over from yesterday. I used a 150ml tea bowl, poured in 1/5 bowl of ginger brandy, and filled the bowl with hot, hot puerh. Every book talking about the “wrestling” drink stresses that it’s important to add tea into liquor, not liquor into tea.
The light drunk feeling came before the taste of tea. When made a warm drink, everybody should cut off half of the amount of alcohol that she usually feels comfortable with. Besides, I did get peanuts and chocolates right next to me, in case I would feel the drink burning my stomach lining (luckily it didn’t). The steam of alcohol rushed through the throat as well as the nose. Then the taste of tea kicked in and lingered around. That’s the way to get both tea drunk and alcohol drunk with just one bowl :-D
It’s not something with gourmet tasting. However, the warming effect is amazing. Next time, I would use even less liquor (when it’s steamed up in high temperature, it’s strong!) and stronger tea (instead of left over tea). Not something you should have too much or too often. But it does give you quite some kick, and yet so much healthier than a regular liquor shot :D
Ever since I saw the name “Wrestling of Dragon and Tiger”, I have been memorized by this drink. I hope someday I will have it by the fireplace of a Yunnan native. Before that, I will try to make some of my own :D