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Tea Cocktails and Mocktails – Fun Tea Infusions with Fruits and Spices

Tea Cocktails and Mocktails – Fun Tea Infusions with Fruits and Spices

Different Types of Teas Used for Cocktails and Mocktails

There are many varieties of tea that lend themselves well to infusion in cocktails and mocktails. Some common types I have experimented with include:

Black teas, such as English breakfast tea and Darjeeling tea, have a strong, bold flavor that stands up well to the addition of fruits, herbs, and spices. Their tannins provide structure to mixed drinks.

Herbal teas like mint, ginger, green tea, and rooibos introduce soothing and sometimes spicy notes. Mint in particular pairs beautifully with citrus juices for refreshment.

Fruit teas containing pieces of fruit like apple, hibiscus, or berry flavors infuse cocktails with their natural sweetness. Blackcurrant tea makes a lovely base for a mocktail.

White teas such as silver needle have a more subtle flavor profile that allows featured ingredients like tropical fruits or citrus to shine through in concoctions.

Matcha green tea powder has an umami-rich character and vibrant green color that livens up cocktails visually and flavor-wise.

No matter the variety selected, steeping tea to the correct strength for each application ensures the best results. Let’s explore specific combinations I’ve enjoyed.

Refreshing Citrus Cocktails with Herbal Teas

One easy infusion I like is mint tea. After steeping loose-leaf mint or bergamot mint tea and allowing it to cool completely, I mix one cup with one cup each of freshly squeezed lime and lemon juice, along with 1/2 cup simple syrup and 3 cups of sparkling water. Giving it a stir and garnishing with mint leaves, this makes a refreshing and mildly caffeine-free cocktail.

For something with more kick,I’ve steeped ginger tea made from sliced fresh ginger and then mixed 1 cup of the cooled brew with 1 cup white rum and 1/2 cup each lime and lemon juice. Shaking it over ice results in a zingy and spicy ginger cocktail that goes down smoothly.

Green tea also mixes nicely with citrus and gin. After steeping green tea, I combine 1 cup of the brew with 1/2 cup each grapefruit and lime juice along with 1 cup of gin. Straining into a glass over fresh ice creates an elegant and subtly floral cocktail.

Fruity Mocktails Infused with Flavored Teas

For non-alcoholic options, fruit-flavored teas provide natural sweetness. One mocktail I found very tasty uses blackcurrant tea. After brewing the tea, I steep blackcurrant pieces in the hot brew to further extract their tangy flavors. Once cooled, I mix 1 cup tea with 1/2 cup blueberry juice, 1/2 cup pomegranate juice, and club soda to top it off. Garnishing with blackcurrants and blueberries makes this delightfully fruity.

For another satisfying mocktail, I brewed hibiscus tea and combined 1 cup of the pink brew with 1/2 cup watermelon juice, 1/4 cup lime juice, and a splash of agave nectar. Topping it with soda water and lime slices created a refreshing watermelon blend.

Apple cinnamon black tea also infuses fun fall flavors into a non-alcoholic sip. Steeping the tea strongly with slices of apples, cinnamon sticks, and cloves then mixing 1 cup brew with 1/2 cup apple cider and 1/4 cup cranberry juice results in a warming spice cake-inspired drink that’s perfect as the weather gets cooler.

Combining Tea with Liquor for Complex Cocktails

While many tea combinations work well without alcohol, certain varieties marry especially nicely with spirits to create complex layered cocktails. One flavorful blend I enjoy uses a strong Darjeeling black tea infused with fresh ginger, then mixed 1:1 with gin and served over ice. The gingery tea balances the juniper in the gin for depth and spice.

For those who like whiskey, a Kentucky Iced Tea is simply sweet black tea branded with bourbon. After steeping Lapsang souchong or Assame black tea, I add 1 ounce bourbon or rye to 8 ounces tea and serve on ice with a lemon wedge. The smoke pairs perfectly with the whiskey for savory complexity.

Green tea also works well in mixed drinks. By steeping sencha green tea powder matcha in hot water and then cooling it completely before mixing 1 part brew with 1 part vodka, I get a vibrant pale green cocktail that’s delicately grassy and subtly sweet. Served on ice, It’s a sophisticated way to enjoy tea-infused magic.

Experimenting with Unusual Tea Combinations

Part of the fun of tea pairings comes from pushing boundaries and tasting unexpected marriages. Here are two unorthodox combinations that surprised me with how delicious they turned out to be:

A white peach oolong tea blended with mezcal offers a refreshing twist on the smoky spirit. Steeping the tea, I mixed 1 part cold brew with 1 part mezcal in a rocks glass over ice for floral notes to balance the agave.

Rooibos chai infusion meets cognac for a complex spiced after-dinner drink. Brewing the richly spiced rooibos tea, I combined 1 part tea with 1⁄2 part sweet vermouth and 1⁄2 part cognac in a wine glass. Warming spices paired brilliantly with the brandy’s subtle oak and dried fruit flavors.

Experimenting is half the fun of tea mixology, and pushing the limits of what “goes together” often has delightful surprises in store. With some trial and error, adventurous blends offer new ways to appreciate fine teas.

Proper Brewing Techniques and Other Tips for Tea Cocktails

Many factors determine the success of an infused tea cocktail. Following best practices for steeping can ensure the tea shines through the drink.

  • Use the right ratio of tea to water for each variety, such as 1 teaspoon loose leaf per 6 ounces water.

  • Steep at the proper temperature – 180°F for black teas, below 175°F for delicate whites and greens.

  • Steep for the correct time – usually 3-5 minutes for most teas.

  • Allow the tea to cool completely before mixing to prevent dilution and bitterness.

  • Adjust the ratio of tea to other liquids based on flavor – 1:1 ratio makes most combinations balanced.

  • Chill cocktails thoroughly before serving over ice for a smooth drinking experience.

  • Garnish thoughtfully to showcase fruity, floral or herbaceous notes.

With practice, customized tea blends bring refreshing twists to common drinks and showcase the full flavors teas have to offer. By observing these brewing principles, each infusion maximizes taste in balanced, unexpected cocktails and mocktails.



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