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8 Tea Cocktail Recipes To Try On Your Next Night Out (Or In)

When you think of “tea” cocktails the first thing that comes to mind is likely either a hot toddy or perhaps a Long Island Iced Tea, both of which don’t actually contain tea at all.

Bartenders; however, have started to incorporate tea into a variety of different cocktails. Sometimes the tea plays a key role in the drink, while other times tea is just a component in a much more complex cocktail.

While you see tea cocktails most often during the fall and winter months as temperatures get colder, tea cocktails can be great any time of year.

Why are teas paired well with alcohol?

Teas are often paired with alcohol for several reasons, and the combination can create unique and complementary flavor profiles. Both tea and certain types of alcohol can have complex and nuanced flavor profiles. When paired thoughtfully, the flavors can interact in interesting ways, enhancing the overall drinking experience.

Tea can provide a balancing element to the sometimes strong and intense flavors of certain alcoholic beverages. The subtle and soothing qualities of tea can complement the boldness of alcohol, creating a more harmonious taste.

Tea comes in a wide variety of flavors, ranging from earthy and robust to floral and fruity. This versatility allows for creative pairings with different types of alcohol to suit individual preferences.

Popular tea and alcohol pairings include combinations like green tea with sake, black tea with whiskey, or herbal tea with various spirits. I’m also personally a huge fan of gin and flavorful herbal and fruit teas.

Experimenting with different pairings can be a fun way to discover new flavor profiles and enhance the overall drinking experience. Here are a few tea cocktail recipes worth trying out, including some tea mocktails and a few drinks that bear the tea name without actually including tea in their recipe:


Hendrick’s Pomegranate Punch

Created by Erik Andersson, Hendrick’s East Coast Ambassador

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 parts Hendrick’s Gin
  • 1 1/2 parts Blackcurrant Tea
  • 1/2 part Simple Syrup
  • 1/2 part Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 part POM® Pomegranate Juice
  • White Pepper and cucumber slice to garnish

Method:

Combine ingredients in a punch bowl over a block of ice. Ladle punch over ice a few times, garnish with white pepper and a cucumber slice and serve.


Carpe Dia Punch

Ingredients:

  • 6 Parts Milagro Añejo
  • 3 Parts Hibiscus Tea
  • 3 Parts Ginger Beer
  • 3 Parts Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 Part Blackberry Syrup
  • Sage Leaves
  • Blackberries

Method:

Pour all ingredients, except ginger beer, in a punch bowl over a block of ice. Top with ginger beer and stir intermittently. Garnish with blackberries and sage


Tis the Tea-son

Recipe courtesy of Pamela Wiznitzer for Ketel One Vodka

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Ketel One Vodka
  • 3 oz Earl Grey Tea
  • .5 oz Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
  • .25 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 oz Dark Brown Sugar Syrup*
  • 1 pinch Nutmeg

Garnish: Lemon Wheels and Orange Peels

For 8 servings:

  • 12 oz Ketel One Vodka
  • 24 oz Earl Grey Tea
  • 4 oz Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
  • 2 oz Lemon Juice
  • 8 oz Dark Brown Sugar Syrup*

Garnish: Lemon wheels and orange peels

Method: Heat up and prep the tea first. For every 12 oz of water, use 2 earl grey tea bags. Create the tea and allow the tea bags to over steep for about 10 minutes.

In a pot, add all of the ingredients (including the nutmeg) and allow it to sit on low for 5 – 10 minutes until hot.

Serve in a mug and place the lemon wheel and orange peel into the glass for garnish.

PRO TIP: If making this delicious hot punch for a group, prep the tea earlier in the day and once steeped and cooled, combine all of the ingredients into a pitcher and place in the fridge. Store up to 24 hours before serving and place onto the stovetop 30 to warm before serving.

Sub-Recipe:

*Dark Brown Sugar Syrup:

Combine 1 cup brown sugar with 1 cup of warm or hot water.

Stir until dissolved and store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.


1888 Festive Old Fashioned

In Dominican Christmas celebrations, dried fruit and spices are very common. This cocktail is a play on the classic Old Fashioned, using traditional spiced flavors to draw out the cacao and honey notes of Brugal 1888 to create a festive treat.

Recipe:

1.7 oz Brugal 1888 rum

.34 oz spiced tea syrup

2 dashes of angostura bitters

Method: stir over ice and strain into a glass with ice, cubed. Garnish with half of a fresh fig.


Amante 1530 Moonraker

Credit to: Jason Snopkoski of Drinks for Days.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1⁄2 oz Gin
  • 3⁄4 oz Amante 1530
  • 3⁄4 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1⁄2 oz green tea simple syrup*
  • (3) 1⁄4” cucumber rounds

Directions: Quarter two of the three cucumber wheels and muddle with the lemon juice in a shaker tin. Add the other ingredients and shake well with ice. Double strain into a chilled coupe glass. Float the last cucumber wheel as a garnish.

*Green Tea Syrup – Equal parts room temperature Ito En Unsweetened Green Tea (or home brewed tea of your choice) and white sugar. Shake well to combine, let sit and reshake until fully dissolved


Long Island Iced Tea

The Long Island Iced Tea is a classic cocktail known for its mix of different spirits, resulting in a drink that’s surprisingly strong but goes down quite smoothly. Here’s a common recipe for making a Long Island Iced Tea:

Long Island Iced Tea Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 oz vodka
  • 1/2 oz rum
  • 1/2 oz gin
  • 1/2 oz tequila
  • 1/2 oz triple sec
  • 1 oz sour mix (sweet and sour mix)
  • Cola (Coca-Cola
    KO
    or Pepsi)
  • Lemon wedge for garnish
  • Ice

Instructions:

  1. Fill a shaker with ice.
  2. Add vodka, rum, gin, tequila, triple sec, and sour mix to the shaker.
  3. Shake the ingredients well to chill the mixture.
  4. Strain the mixture into a highball glass filled with ice.
  5. Top off the drink with cola, leaving enough space to stir.
  6. Give it a gentle stir to combine the ingredients.
  7. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

The Long Island Iced Tea gets its name from its amber color, which is similar to iced tea. Despite the name, it doesn’t actually contain any tea. Instead, it’s a combination of various spirits and mixers that creates a drink with a flavor reminiscent of sweetened iced tea.


Green Tea Shot

The Green Tea Shot is a popular cocktail known for its vibrant green color and sweet, fruity flavor. Despite its name, it doesn’t actually contain green tea; rather, it gets its name from the appearance. Here’s a common recipe for a Green Tea Shot:

Green Tea Shot Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 oz Peach Schnapps
  • 1/2 oz Jameson Irish Whiskey
  • 1/2 oz Sour Mix (or sweet and sour mix)
  • 1/2 oz Sprite or lemon-lime soda

Instructions:

  1. Fill a shaker with ice.
  2. Add Peach Schnapps, Jameson Irish Whiskey, and Sour Mix to the shaker.
  3. Shake the ingredients well to chill the mixture.
  4. Strain the mixture into a shot glass.
  5. Top off the shot with a splash of Sprite or lemon-lime soda.
  6. The resulting shot should have a greenish tint, resembling the color of green tea.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Feel free to adjust the ingredient proportions based on your personal taste preferences. Some variations may include using different brands of whiskey or experimenting with the amount of sour mix to achieve the desired balance of sweetness and tartness.


Tokyo Tea

The Tokyo Tea is a cocktail known for its vibrant green color and a combination of different spirits. It’s a variation of the Long Island Iced Tea but with a Japanese twist. Here’s a common recipe for making a Tokyo Tea:

Tokyo Tea Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 oz vodka
  • 1/2 oz rum
  • 1/2 oz gin
  • 1/2 oz Midori (melon liqueur)
  • 1/2 oz triple sec
  • 1 oz sweet and sour mix
  • Splash of lemon-lime soda (Sprite or 7UP)
  • Ice
  • Lemon wedge for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Fill a shaker with ice.
  2. Add vodka, rum, gin, Midori, triple sec, and sweet and sour mix to the shaker.
  3. Shake the ingredients well to chill the mixture.
  4. Strain the mixture into a highball glass filled with ice.
  5. Top off the drink with a splash of lemon-lime soda.
  6. Give it a gentle stir to combine the ingredients.
  7. Garnish with a lemon wedge if desired.

The Tokyo Tea is known for its bright green color and refreshing taste. Keep in mind that it contains multiple types of liquor, so it’s relatively strong. Adjust the proportions to suit your personal taste


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