Pairing spirits with tea is a matter of finding flavor complements. Gin blends well with fruit-flavored teas because both have floral, herbaceous, botanical qualities. Consider for example the Green Tea Gimlet, an on-trend favorite at bars across the country. When it comes to whiskey and other dark spirits, they tend to pair better with roasted teas. The Sweet Tea Bourbon Cocktail combines black tea and bourbon with oranges and mint for refreshing Southern charm.
When it comes to pairing tea and alcohol, keep in mind the difference between your shaken (citrusy, refreshing, effervescent drinks) and stirred (silky, dense, booze-driven cocktails with almost all alcoholic ingredients.) Remember, tea is astringent, and in that sense can work almost like bitters, but you’ll have far better luck with tea in the base spirit of a sour, with plenty of acid and sugar to round out and cut the tannic edge of the tea. Also, proof in the spirit works like water temperature. You’ll get more intense flavor steeping into a base spirit than you will a lower-proof wine, vermouth or liqueur.
Whether you like your tea mixed into a punch, brewed in the liquor or shaken with a concentrate, there are a variety of ways to raise the bar giving your drinks a tea twist.
Content courtesy of Red Diamond