Tea Inspired Cocktails

“Come, let us have some tea and continue to talk about happy things.”
Chaim Potok

As much as I love a good cup of tea, sometimes I crave something unique and a little bit stronger. As so much of the United States is recovering from the Polar Vortex, I wanted to share a couple of my favorite tea-inspired cocktail recipes. Let’s face it, the only thing that can elevate a good cup of tea to new heights, is the addition of a great companion, booze.

As some of the country is experiencing 100 degree temperature swings, I decided to share two tea inspirations. My twist on hot Blueberry Tea, and also a cold tea cocktail, a Chai Tea Cream. A great thing about both tea cocktails is that they are completely adaptable to your own taste.

A Blueberry Tea Cocktail is typically made with an Orange Pekoe Tea. At my local grocery store they carry a Private Selection Tea called Blood Orange Rooibos Herbal Tea which was used in this recipe.

In classic bartender guides there really aren’t many blueberry drinks. One exception is the Blueberry Tea Cocktail, which contains no blueberry or blueberry flavored ingredients. It’s one of those cocktail concoctions that draws on a handful of ingredients to transform it into something completely different. Hence, a classic Blueberry Tea cocktail that only resembles the taste of blueberries. 

Blueberry Tea Cocktail

This warm and delicious tea cocktail has Grand Marnier, Amaretto and Orange Tea, which gives off hints of blueberry flavor.

Ingredients for one cocktail

  • 1 fluid ounce amaretto liqueur
  • 1 fluid ounce orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier(R))
  • 4 fluid ounces orange pekoe tea, or an orange tea of your choice like the blood orange rooibos herbal tea used in this cocktail.
I doubled the recipe to make two cocktails.

Directions

  1. Combine amaretto and orange liqueur in a brandy snifter or glass.
  2. Seep Tea bag in hot water and add tea to glass.
This is a great winter cocktail.

The history of Chai tea can be traced back to the mid-1800s in India, and has long been a favorite in cafés and tea rooms. Now drinks are being crafted with the spiced tea as a way to develop more depth to cocktails. Whiskey and Rum are two of the more popular flavor pairings with Chai tea, because of their complementary oak and vanilla flavors. This Chai Tea Cream cocktail is paired with an Apple Brandy to include a mellow apple flavor. A simple syrup has been infused with a cinnamon stick to add an additional level of warmth to the cocktail.

CHAI INFUSED VODKA: place 2 Chai tea bags (I used Twinings Chai) into 1 cup of Vodka. Allow to infuse for at least 2 hours. Remove tea bags and use in desired cocktail recipe, or store in fridge for 2 weeks.

Chai Tea Cream Cocktail

CINNAMON SIMPLE SYRUP: mix 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add a cinnamon stick and remove from heat, cover and let cool for 20 minutes. Pour into a glass jar and cover. Makes about 1½ cups and will keep in the refrigerator for a month.

You can easily add more of any of the ingredients to make the cocktail to your specific taste.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Chai infused Vodka (see photo with note)
  • 1 oz Cinnamon Simple Syrup (see above)
  • 2 oz Apple Brandy
  • 2 oz Light Cream

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker, cover and shake vigorously for about five seconds. Open the cocktail shaker again and add 2 ice cubes. Shake again for 20 seconds.
  2. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with fresh or dried apple slices.
Make sure that you use a good Apple Brandy for this cocktail. I used an Estate Apple Brandy from Wilridge Winery & Distillery in Washington State.

These cocktails are sure to keep you going through all the remaining long Winter nights!

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