High on tea tonics

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | BHAGIRATH SAW
Published Mar 13, 2016, 12:33 am IST
Updated Mar 13, 2016, 12:33 am IST
Tea-infused cocktails make for refreshing yet potent potions and here’s why you should sample them.
Mainly because gin too is made of varied herbs — mainly juniper berries, caraway, anise, coriander etc.
 Mainly because gin too is made of varied herbs — mainly juniper berries, caraway, anise, coriander etc.

After experimenting with fruits and essences of all kinds, bartenders have taken to infusing their cocktails with two of the world’s most popular beverages — tea and coffee. The former particularly has gained much popularity over the past three years or so, thanks to the aromatic and flavourful base that it provides for a refreshing concoction. Not to forget, the health benefits too. But for now, let’s look at why it makes for such a delightfully sinful option on a night about town. So what makes it click as an enhancer and what it is that best bring out its flavours?

Gin in my opinion makes for the best base of a tea-infused cocktail. Mainly because gin too is made of varied herbs — mainly juniper berries, caraway, anise, coriander etc. The two work as an excellent combination and enhance each other’s aromas and flavours. Organic elements such as elder flower, basil, rosemary, thyme and mint further add to the essence of the drink.

 

There isn’t a particular kind of tea that works well for cocktails because mostly they all do. It could be black tea, green tea or herbal tea. A tea concoction is prepared best by brewing teas in ambient water by extracting the flavours thoroughly well. The tea and base proportion for the blend should ideally be in the ratio of 4:1. Those with a sweet tooth could use sweeteners such as maple syrup, honey and brown sugar. Milk or cream-based cocktails do not taste great along with tea infusions, so I would suggest you keep them out of the mix completely. You could however save them for coffee-based brews and blends if you so wish.

 

To get the best results with tea brews, make sure that the flavours blend for 6-12 hours —no more than that. As for serving these delicious drinks, use enclosed glasses such as beakers, teapots, wine glasses or Irish mugs, so that the flavours remain intact.

Writer is a corporate bar
manager at Light House Cafe, Quad Hospitality, Mumbai.

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