Think Outside the Bag

Beyond the four corners of your bar, the tea trend is going stronger than ever. Tea's health benefits — ranging from heart healthiness to delivering antioxidants — are the perfect complement to consumers' growing focus on cleaner living. Inside your bar, a perfectly crafted mix of tea and spirits is hard to resist.

Whether the tea is brewed, steeped or straight out of a bottle — or infused into the base spirit or liqueur modifier — the profit possibilities for tea drinks are there. Try the following recipes as you search for your next spring cocktail hit.

Orchard Cooler

Courtesy of Torani.
½ ounce lime juice
½ ounce Torani White Peach Honeysuckle syrup
¾ ounce cranberry juice
1 ½ ounces Absolut Apeach
3 ounces green tea
½ ounce Cointreau
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Build in a Collins glass over ice. Stir well.

Golfer's Cocktail

Courtesy of Sweet Carolina Sweet Tea Vodka.
1 part Sweet Carolina Sweet Tea Vodka
1 part lemonade

Mandrin and Jasmine Tea Sour

Created by Jamie Gordon and Simon Ford and presented courtesy of Absolut Vodka.
1 ½ ounces Absolut Mandrin infused with jasmine tea
1 ounce simple syrup
¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
3 dashes orange bitters
Egg white
Shake ingredients and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a sprinkle of ground nutmeg.


Courtesy of recently released Beefeater 24, which is made from 12 hand-selected botanicals with a rare blend of teas at its heart.
1 part Beefeater 24
1 part Dubonnet
Teaspoon maraschino
Dash Angostura Bitters
Dash Peychaud's Bitters
1 Earl Grey tea bag
Infuse tea bag with Beefeater 24. Add other ingredients, ice and stir.

English Breakfast

Courtesy of Marco Dionysos, head bartender at Michael Mina's Clock Bar in San Francisco.
1 ½ ounces gin infused with Earl Grey
¾ ounce Grand Marnier
¾ ounce lemon juice
1 bar spoon orange marmalade
1 egg white
Spray of Qi Black Tea Liqueur
Dry shake (with a spring from a Hawthorne strainer, but without ice), then shake again with ice. Fine-strain into a port glass. Finish with a spray of Qi Black Tea Liqueur; Dionysos uses an olive oil pump spray bottle from Williams-Sonoma.

The Guild Meeting

(Serves four)
Courtesy of Charles Joly, mixologist at The Drawing Room, Chicago.
2 ounces vanilla sugar
3 pieces of orange zest
10 ounces orange oolong tea
5 ounces orange juice
2 ounces 42 Below Honey Vodka
2 ounces Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur
5 ounces Rittenhouse 100 Rye
This is a classic style punch built entirely in the bowl. Place sugar in bowl. Cut orange zest with a peeler and muddle. Add hot tea and stir to dissolve sugar. Add remaining ingredients and stir. Add ice if desired.

For the infusion: Steep 3 to 4 Republic of Tea Earl Greyer bags (or any round bags without staples) in a liter of gin for no more than an hour, then strain back into the bottle.

Miss GG's East Egg Cocktail

Courtesy of Peter Vestinos, mixologist at Sepia, Chicago.
1 ounce lemon juice
1 ounce chamomile tea
1½ ounces thyme-infused honey syrup
1 ½ ounces Beefeater Gin
Fill a Collins glass with ice and add ingredients. Stir to bring up the honey and to integrate the tea. Add a splash of soda water. Garnish with a lemon wedge and sprigs of fresh thyme.

For the honey thyme syrup: In a sauce pan, add 1 cup honey to 1 cup water, along with a handful of fresh thyme. Simmer for 10 minutes; remove from heat and let steep for another 60 minutes before straining out thyme. Let cool before using.

For chamomile tea: Make a concentrated tea (using about twice as much as you normally would if just making tea to drink it) and let it steep for 15 minutes to build up a strong flavor as well as some tannins. Brew the tea fresh every day and let cool before using.

Jasmine Genie

Courtesy of Martin Adamczyk, mixologist and president, Consummate Cocktail event producers.
1 ½ ounces gin (a softer flavored gin such as Hendrick's or Bombay Sapphire)
4 ounces cold-brewed jasmine tea from Qi Botanical Tea
¼ ounces Demerara syrup
Combine all ingredients in a Collins glass filled with ice. Stir and finish with a hearty lemon twist.

TY KU Rush

Courtesy of Sherrie Geslak, mixologist at Sunda in Chicago.
2 ounces TY KU Liqueur
1 ounce white tea/honeydew/mangosteen syrup
1 ounce passion fruit nectar
½ ounce lemon juice
2 muddled 1-inch cubes of honeydew melon

Rim glass with simple syrup and freeze-dried mangosteen. Serve over ice.

Syrup directions: 3 cups water, 1 cup sugar, 4 Republic of Tea Honeydew Melon White Tea bags and ½ tablespoon of mangosteen extract.

Chamomile Collins

Courtesy of Jamie Gordon and Simon Ford of Absolut Vodka.
2 ounces Absolut Ruby Red
1 ounce chamomile syrup
¾ ounces lemon juice
Club soda

Build first three ingredients over rocks in a highball glass, shake quickly and top with club soda.

Tea Time

Courtesy of Monin Gourmet Flavorings.
1 ¼ ounces citrus vodka
½ ounce Monin White Peach
3 ounces lemonade
½ ounces Monin Acai
3 ounces fresh brewed tea
Combine first three ingredients and shake; pour over ice in a tall glass. Combine or batch Monin Acai and fresh brewed tea and pour slowly over lemonade mixture (it should be layered). Garnish with mint, berries, fresh mint sprig and lemon wedge.