Tea Cocktails Shaking Up Menus

Lady Jane Earl Grey and gin cocktail; photo credit: onemartini.com

Restaurants are now pairing alcohol and tea. Some do so by featuring tea on a menu that initially only had wine, and others are mixing tea and alcohol in the form of cocktails. In any case, the relationship between alcohol and tea proves to be a successful one.

San Francisco-based consulting firm Andrew Freeman & Company forecasts that “tea-tails” will become increasingly prevalent on menus, according to the Denver Post. Could tea cocktails take on the prominence of Irish coffee? Irish coffee is a blend of coffee, whiskey, sugar and whipped cream that was invented in Foynes, Ireland, and then introduced to the United States.

Irish tea purveyor Mrs. Doyle’s Teas also developed Irish Cream Liquor. The company sold rum infused teas at festivals and Ireland’s Electric Picnic concerts, the Washington Post reports.

An example of a tea-tail is a gin and Earl Grey mixture called a “Marteani” that can be found at Martin’s West in Redwood City, California. A similar combination is also called a Lady Jane. Another instance of a tea-tail is offered by The Village Pub in Woodside, California, and consists of Qi white tea liquor, brandy and citrus, reports the Denver Post.

California is not the only state keeping up with trends. Tea-tails have shown up on menus out East, too.

Green Tea Mojito; photo credit: ManusMenu.com

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s Scratch Food & Beverage offers its own tea-based cocktails and combines local tea with local spirits, reports TribLive. The tea-tails are made of Rooibos Tea, Moroccan Mint Tea, Rose Hip Tea and Uhlman Tea. Some of the teas are made into syrups and others are blended into the cocktails, enhancing the flavor.

And, who can forget hot toddies? Known in Scotland as “hot whisky,” a hot toddy is usually a cocktail composed of warm water, liquor, honey and herbs (such as tea). Hot toddys are a well-liked winter drink for those who want to warm up on the inside. Some even believe it to relieve symptoms of the cold and flu. Recipes for Chai Toddies appear on newspaper and cooking websites. Saveur’s Bourbon Chai calls for black tea, spices, almond milk and bourbon.

A variety of tea-tails can be found on Pinterest for adding to a restaurant’s menu or for making at home. Some examples are the green tea mojito, a raspberry sake tea cocktail and lots of “boozy iced teas.” Such concoctions can only add flair to a restaurant’s menu and broaden the range of customers that come in, including attracting non-traditional tea drinkers. This trend is sure to grow.