Cup that cheers: cocktail recipes every tea lover should know

A versatile drink in both the kitchen and the bar, tea is not only consumed worldwide as a hot brew, but is also tasted as an ingredient in a super smooth sweet and sour cocktail. That’s why the best cocktail infusions come in handy on tea bar menus in refreshing flavors for a perfect Sunday sundowner.

Before trying these recipes, it’s interesting to know why tea is different from other drinks. It is soft, light and despite a strong character, it gelles well with any drink without altering the character of the drink. “Tea lends its flavor to cocktails beautifully and serves as a wonderful base for subtle and refreshing cocktails,” said Yangdup Lama, co-founder of Sidecar and Cocktails & Dreams, Speakeasy. Currently, Sidecar is ranked number 47 on the list of the world’s 50 best bars 2021 and number 14 on the list of Asia’s 50 best bars in 2022.

In fact, tea experts find the combination of tea and alcohol appropriate. Since this combination dates back to the 17th century colonial era, the fondness for the tea drinking culture was associated with tea punches that were popular in the British high tea era when the drink was an essential ingredient to give it rich body and texture. “From pirate ships to revelry on special occasions, tea at the time, combined with alcohol, was a hit. The mild fragrant flavors and aromas, especially the orthodox ones, are a perfect base to breathe new life into a cocktail,” says tea taster Madhav Sarda, director of Golden Tips Tea. Sarda believes that tea and tisanes (combination of herbs and flowers ) are a great drink.

In many parts of Southeast Asia, the tea trend has evolved to create a unique culture not found anywhere else in the world, including tea cocktails that are all the rage. “Since tea is one of the most consumed beverages in the world, most people’s taste buds are designed for these kinds of flavors in cocktails. In recent times, gin and tea have sparked interest as a refreshing contrast to carbonated alternatives. In hot and humid climates like India, tea acts as a soothing mixer,” said Shuchir Suri, founder of Jade Forest, a premium beverage brand that offers a blend of teas, fruits and spices that go well on their own and are great in cocktails.

Hampta Sunset by WelcomHotel Sheraton New Delhi

— In a cognac balloon, add 120 ml of hot water, 30 ml of dry gin, 20 ml of cane sugar syrup and 30 ml of apple juice. Jaggery syrup is a good source of iron. Melt it over low heat, stirring occasionally to improve consistency. Let the mixture cool down
— Top up with chamomile tea prepared in a separate pot with chamomile tea bags
— Add rosemary and cucumber as garnish

The Nihon Cha by Chef Tarun Sibal, Chatter House

Japanese whiskey combined with orange bitters and fresh herbs for an earthy aroma and topped with homemade Japanese sencha tea syrup

— Suntory Whiskey Toki: 60 ml
— Orange bitters: Dash
— Homemade sencha tea syrup: 20 ml
— Garnish with dried orange: 1 piece
— Serve on the rocks in an old-fashioned glass

Tea cocktail from Jade Forest

— Use 10 ml of spirits of your choice (gin, whiskey, vodka, tequila or others)
— Use Jade Forest premium iced tea (mixer)
– Use ice cubes as you wish
– Stir and pour

Duchais by Rohil Kalita, Bartender, Four Seasons Hotel Bengaluru

The cocktail is reminiscent of the rolling hills of Assam with malty notes of the Assam tea, fresh fruit and herbal notes of pear and pepper.

— Chill your long drink glass
– Lay a clear ice barn
— Load Homeland Soda premix
— Pour 45 ml of JW Black Label into glass
— Pour 135 ml Homeland Soda
— Garnish the drink with a pear tuile
— Homeland Soda is a premixed soft drink with fresh pear juice, Assam tea, jaiur or szechuan peppers

Green Tea Highball by Madhav Sarda, tea taster & MD, Golden Tips Tea

— Brew 60 ml Golden Tips Emerald Organic Green Tea and let it cool for 30 minutes
— Add 60 ml Yamazaki whiskey to the glass
— Pour the brewed green tea and sugar syrup (1-2 tbsp) into the whiskey
— Add chilled club soda, ice cubes and mint leaves for garnish

Lutyen’s by Yangdup Lama, Co-Founder, Sidecar

— Infuse the second rinse of Darjeeling tea or Makaibari Summer Solstice tea for 3 hours with JW Black Label
— Add 50ml tea infused JW Black Label and 20ml homemade liquorice syrup and stir until chilled
— Top up with soda and serve with a long spear of ice cream
— Garnish with a seasonal skeleton leaf

Smokey Tryst by Angad Singh Gandhi, Brand Ambassador, Glenfiddich

— Infuse Firdaus Anandini Himalayan tea in 60ml Glenfiddich (12 years) and add to a carafe
— Add apple wood smoke to the carafe
— Take a glass, add a large piece of ice and slowly pour the mixture into it
– Garnish with a slice of dried orange

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