From facial remedies to cooking, tea has become an integral part of adding value to a product. Whether it be for health, fragrance, or flavor, and cocktails are no exception. All across the U.S. restaurants, bars and their mixologists are finding tea as a way of expanding their drink making capabilities. Stella Rossa Pizza Bar in Santa Monica, California is making their version of a Pisco sour with white tea-infused egg foam. And in Chicago, Mercadito is revving up their margaritas with blanco tequila infused with black tea, mezcal, pear purée, fresh lime juice and agave nectar. And with tea blends like Marcus’ Ambessa tea line, the possibilities are endless.
We all know the infamous Long Island Iced Tea which in fact does not even contain any tea at all. However, I am talking about fresh brewed tea mixed with your favorite spirit and topped with refreshing garnishes like cucumber, mint or citrus. Not an attempt to mix every possible alcohol until it tastes like tea and will only end in pain.
Tea cocktails are another great way to put your cold brewed tea to use. You can even infuse the tea into the spirit itself, or make an infused simple syrup like this lavender sweetener. My favorite way of incorporating tea into a cocktail: cold brewed Safari Breakfast with a shot of Hendrick’s gin over ice and garnished with a cucumber wheel. Red Rooster has a fabulous tea cocktail called Earl of Harlem that contains Alibi bourbon, Earl of Harlem (earl grey) tea, and spiced coriander syrup.
Here are some other tipsy tea recipes:
- Ginger Tea Tonic Recipe
- Hibiscus Cosmo Recipe
- Rainforest Harvest Mojito Recipe
- Harlem Welcomes The Earl
If you want to infuse the tea into the spirit the ratio should be 3 tablespoons or approx. 2 tea bags per liter of chosen spirit and left to steep for 45 min. to several hours. With tea you do not want to let it infuse for much longer as the tannic qualities will begin to outshine the lovely tea flavor.
Below are some suggestions on which spirits go best with Marcus’ Ambessa Tea Blends:
Choco Nut with white Rum or vodka
Safari Breakfast with gin, tequila or cognac
Ligonberry Green with vodka or tequila
Earl of Harlem with bourbon, rye or gin