Episode #033 – Tea Cocktails, Tea-Tails

tea cocktails

Combining the flavors of tea and alcohol is not exactly a new idea, but it certainly is seeing a bit of an uprising in the past few years. Whether it is an infusion or pu-erh or a duo highball with sweet tea and whiskey, the possibilities with tea are endless. So let’s get brewin’!

On this episode, you’ll hear about:

  •  How to infuse a liquor with tea,
  • The importance of ratios and double-strength tea in tea-tails,
  • A few simple infusions to try, and
  • Some ingredients to pick up (and some to set aside) with tea.

A note on infusions:

The general rule we like to use is about for every 8 ounces of liquor, you want to use about 2 tbsp of a darker/oxidized tea (pu-erh, black, oolong), or for lighter teas (white, green, herbal) it’s better to bump that up to about 3 tbsp. Then, you’ll let any of those combos sit for 2-3 hours, depending on desired intensity of flavor.

For combining liquor with brewed tea:

The general rule is to brew your tea double strength to offset the stronger flavor of the liquor. Ice will also be important, so account for that in your calculations, but we usually go with with a 4:1 brewed tea:liquor ratio.

A tea to know:

We’re big fans of Pu-Erh tea, which has an amazing history to know all it’s own. You should pick some up soon.

A few sample ideas:

Earl Grey infused Gin & Tonic (use a floral tonic like Fever Tree Elderflower Tonic)

Green Tea Martini (with Sauvignon Blanc instead of dry vermouth to balance against the dryer flavor of the green tea)

Pu-erh Old Fashioned–Infuse 2 tbsp of tea with 8 oz bourbon for 2-3 hours, then strain and make the Old Fashioned how you like to make it.

Moscow Mule–White Tea infusion – 3 tbsp white tea in 8 oz vodka— 1 ½ oz of that vodka

Mango Daiquiri with Jasmine Tea

  • Mango Juice & Simple Syrup, even parts for sugar
  • 2 tbsp Jasmine Tea for 8 oz aged rum
  • 1.5 oz rum, 1/2 oz simple syrup, 1/2 lime

Manhattan with Rooiibos infused Vermouth (there is actual rooibos vermouth)

3 tbsp red Rooibos in 8 oz of vermouth

Smokiest Penicillin Cocktail:

  • 2 tbsp Lapsang Souchong and 8 oz blended Scotch
  • 2.5 oz. blended Scotch whiskey
  • 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz. honey syrup (even parts honey and water over medium heat)