Thanks to the proliferation of coffee chains on the high street it would appear that our love affair with tea seems to be waning. Shame, there’s nothing like a nice slurp of ‘Rosie’ to put the world to rights. But if the idea of Builders Brew, a splash of milk and two sugars doesn’t suit, perhaps an infusion in your cocktails might be more, ahem, your cup of tea?
At Min Jiang they’ve devised a ‘Tea-Tails’ menu made up of the finest Chinese teas blended with spirits, liqueurs and fresh ingredients to complement the three flavour profiles. For instance, the ‘Oolong’ Tea Tail combines Havana Club 7 year old rum, Malibu coconut rum and a slice of orange with Spring King Oolong tea, while the ‘Scented’ option allows the delicate Forbidden Dragon Pearl jasmine tea to mingle with vodka, lychee liqueur and twist of lemon. There’s also an ‘Infusion’ variety made with chrysanthemum seed tea, Courvoisier VS Cognac, Angostura aromatic bitters, sugar syrup and a twist of orange. Each Tea Ttail is served with a pot of freshly brewed tea to top-up at your leisure.
Or you could take yours with a speakeasy-style twist… At UFF Tea, the Oolong Weekend invites guests to dress up in 1930s splendour as they listen to live jazz and sip on cocktails such as the French Concession (Portobello Road Gin, fresh watermelon, green tea syrup and basil); The April 12th Incident (Santa Teresa Reserva Rum, cognac and peach liqueur, English Breakfast Tea, lemon and sugar), and the New Youth (Belenkaya Vodka, Velvet Falernum, fresh citrus and vanilla, cinnamon and cardamom chai topped with a splash of apple juice) – all served from enamel mugs.
And for those who like their tea with a dunk, howsabout the new Naughty or Nice Tea & Biscuits menu at Reform Social & Grill? Play it straight with the ‘Nice’ selection offering classic styles such as Lady and Earl Grey with homemade biscuits including Rich Tea, Fig Rolls and Jaffa Cakes to accompany. Or indulge your ‘Naughty’ side with tea-based cocktails including the Gunfire (dark rum, maple syrup, ginger bitters, hibiscus tea and orange zest), and the Royal Tea Gin Cocktail (gin, Pimm’s no. 1, spices, lemon zest and Earl Grey Tea), perfectly paired with Jammy Dodgers, Ginger Nut and Garibaldi biscuits.
Take that coffee – tea is back with some serious attitude.
The Cocktail Lovers say…
Make one at home: Pour 50ml of gin over ice in a rocks glass, top up with chilled Earl of Grey tea, add sugar syrup and a squeeze of lemon to taste. Recipe from Joe’s Tea Co. joesteacompany.com
This week we’re loving…
…preparing for take-off at the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses. New on the menu is the ‘Red Carpet’, a stylish and exceedingly delicious blend of Bombay Sapphire gin, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, crème de framboise and fresh lemon juice, created by Matteo Vanzi, winner of the Bombay Sapphire’s Most Imaginative Bartender global competition. The rich, red libation served in a glamorous Champagne flute was created specially for Virgin Atlantic and sure gets travelling off to the perfect start.
Available at the airline’s Clubhouses in Heathrow, Gatwick, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Washington, JFK, Newark and Johannesburg.
As featured in The Independent Dish of the Day blog 6/2/2014