As well as enjoying a relaxing cuppa, tea is a fun and versatile ingredient for creating cocktails too.
Saralyn Leopatra, Bar Manager at Brasserie and Winebar Kensington, enjoys working with tea for the variety and endless possibilities of imparting serious flavour into cocktails without much prep or too many ingredients.
“I am partial to using loose leaf tea behind the bar,” she says. “Loose leaf tea boasts robust flavours and essential oils that I find are lost with traditional tea bags. These will really help enhance your cocktail’s overall flavour as well as aroma.”
Leopatra advises concentrated brewing tea and chilling it for use in a cold cocktail, then the flavour of the tea is not diluted, or masked by the spirits or ice. Double the ratio of tea to water, and always time your brew to avoid over-steeping, which would result in a bitter aftertaste.
Here are two of Leopatra’s simple and delicious tea cocktail recipes to try at home!
Halfway To Harrods
1½ oz vodka
½ oz St. Germain
½ oz honey cinnamon syrup (recipe below)
Squeeze of lemon juice
Squeeze of orange juice
Brew a pot of Chamomile tea ¾ full and add vodka, St. Germain and honey cinnamon syrup to the pot. Squeeze in a wedge of lemon and orange juices and top with 1-2 dashes of the Angostura bitters.
Cinnamon Honey Syrup
1 cup (250 mL) water
1 cup (250 mL) honey
1 cinnamon stick
Using a mortar and pestle, break the cinnamon stick into medium sized pieces and grind. Place the water and cinnamon in a pot and bring to a boil, add in the honey and stir occasionally until dissolved. Remove from heat, and using a fine strainer remove the cinnamon pieces. Let rest to cool.
The Mainstay Of Civilization
1¼ oz Secret Barrel rum
¼ oz Grand Marnier
¼ oz Lime Ginger Tea Simple Syrup (recipe below)
2 slices cucumber
Squeeze of lime juice
Squeeze of orange juice
Muddle one slice of cucumber in a cocktail shaker and add rum, Grand Marnier and lime ginger syrup. Add lime and orange juice, and shake, shake, shake. Strain into a coupe glass and float a thin slice of cucumber and lime on top.
Lime Ginger Tea Simple Syrup
1 cup of steeped lime ginger tea
1 cup of white sugar
Add about 3 grams of lime ginger tea to 1 cup (250 mL) hot water and let it steep for 3-5 minutes (depending on how strong you want the flavour). Add the steeped tea to a pot and bring to a boil, add in the white sugar and stir occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool.