5 o’clock with a twist – join the tea infused alcohol revolution!
Dec 10, 2018
Tea’s love affair with the bottle spans centuries. As the precursor to the bitters and botanicals we see swamping cocktail menus today, tea was the original kick to liven up flavourless alcohols. The endless list of tea varieties and their infinite spectrum of flavours and properties is surely what has contributed to tea’s alcoholic renaissance today.
Favourite brews for your booze
- Earl Grey is certainly the bar tender’s bestie, the tea de jour of the cocktail world. With light floral and citrus notes, it’s a subtle touch that lends itself particularly well to gins and vodkas, though it has been known to sneak its way in to a Yu Lu Beer by Siren Craft Brew.
- Matcha is the health food worshippers choice. Fresh, energy boosting and vitamin rich, it’s practically fitspiration. Its striking green colour also adds a bonus touch of the Wizard of Oz to any beverage.
- Chai is the exotic eastern mistress of the mixologist. Black tea blended with rich spices like cardamom, cinnamon and ginger bring a spicy sweetness, especially decadent in warmers like Bourbon Chai Hot Toddy.
Armed with their flavour arsenal, industry innovators heard the call for cocktails with depth, complexity and a fresh first sip feeling and knew the answer was tea. Their inspired infusions blew sugary, cocktail umbrella menu mainstays out of the water paving the way for a whole new cocktail experience.
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Meet the pioneers
- Audrey Saunders, cocktail extraordinaire at The Pegu Club, was the kick-starter of this boozy tea-volution with her creation the Earl Grey MarTEAni. By infusing the tea directly in to the gin rather than tea diluting the alcohol, this glass will knock your socks off.
- Aleksandrs Sadovkis, mixologist at Prinzipal in Berlin, won the first Toast of Courvoisier competition in 2016 with a tea-infused cocktail called Memories. He used smoky Lapsang Souchong blended with Courvoisier VSOP and champagne to transport the judges to Paris’ Golden Age and the Industrial Revolution.
- Jennie Ripps and Maria Littlefield, the power houses behind The Owl’s Brew, have planted tea’s place firmly on the mixer map with their range of alcoholic accompaniments giving you the chance to leave the infusing to the professionals.
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If we’ve got your tea-buds tingling, why not try some tea cocktails right here in Blighty’s glorious capital? Here are pick of London’s best tea cocktail bars:
- To score the ultimate in British brownie points, pay homage to Queen Elizabeth with a cocktail created in honour of her Diamond Jubilee at The Bar at The Dorchester. Her Majesty’s Cup combines British countryside flavours with sparkle and Earl Grey.
- If you’re looking for a bar where two tea birds can drink together, Opium is the place for tea-based sharers. Explore this den’s numerous bars and find tea treasures hidden in the menus. The Apothecary menu offers the gin-based Floral and Fair teapot with rose, orange blossom honey and black tea, whilst the Peony menu packs a punchy genever and liquor-based matcha conserved with show stopping dry ice.
- Transport yourself to the Bedouin tents of the Moroccan desert by visiting London’s ultimate rooftop at The Queen of Hoxton. Perfect for long summer evenings, Casablancan Mint Tea from the Moroccan Medina menu is a boozy combination of warmed gin, fresh mint and a hint of rose and Moroccan mint tea.
You needn’t miss out on the action if you’re planning a night in with the girls. Equipped with your tried and tested World’s Best Bar Green Tea Martini Recipe, you’ll be dubbed the hostess with the mostest in no time at all.
So there you have it, your comprehensive guide to the latest tipsy tea trend. The only question now is one pot or two?
Photo by Oleg Guijinsky on Unsplash