From specialty baijiu in the West to Starbuck’s green tea lattes in China, traditional Chinese and Western beverages are constantly evolving to adjust to the palate of the other. The latest are tea cocktails, which are starting to pop up in US bars, NY times reports:
Inside the Refinery Hotel, Alex Ott creates a gender-neutral Speakeasy Punch, which he doles out in generous portions barside at Parker & Quinn. He begins with two ounces of warm hibiscus tea, a flavorful base that is often served cold in the summer. (When brewing this variety, Ott warns against over-steeping the leaves — 14 minutes is usually all it takes.) He then stirs in two and a quarter ounces of Bacardi 8 rum, two ounces of rye, two ounces of house-made rock-candy syrup (at home, white cranberry juice makes a good substitute) and a dash of lemon juice. For an extra dose of comfort, he serves the steaming liquid in a brandy sniffer, which doubles as a hand warmer when the drinker grasps the glass’s broad sides.
Twenty blocks uptown at another hotel bar, the Pierre’s Two E Bar and Lounge, Sachin Hasan suggests that just about any kind of bourbon pairs well with tea. But instead of simply adding the whiskey directly to already-brewed tea and calling it a day (or, a hot toddy), he infuses it with the flavor of tea by adding a few teaspoons of loose leaves to half a bottle of bourbon, leaving it undisturbed for a few hours and then straining out the leaves. The heady, fragrant infusion that remains can be used to mix and shake a variety of drinks, hot or warm. But for his newly-minted Triple Salchow, a nod to the Sochi Winter Olympics, Hasan instead turns to vodka, which he claims is the easiest to mix with tea thanks to its colorless and mild-tasting nature.
Shanghai’s own Hillbilly Tea is no stranger to infusing cocktails with tea, serving a variety of tea hooches.
Yes, tea appears to have become the new pomegranate, even appearing in soft drinks like Bruce Cost’s Jasmine Tea Ginger Ale.
We assume it would be a tad crude to mix certain teas like the renowned Da Hong Pao from Wuyi with Bacardi 8 or Coke, however.