Unexpected Ways to Drink Your Tea

Unexpected Ways to Drink Your Tea

If drinking tea only makes you think of sipping on a hot beverage before bedtime, think again. Tea is a super dynamic ingredient that can be used in a range of drinks...and even some food items. Each unique brew has a depth and range of flavor that can pair well with herbs, fruit, chocolate, spices, and (our favorite)–some high-quality liqueurs and liquors.

In the following article we’ll take a look at six of our favorite tea recipes, as well as how to pair tea with different ingredients to get a whole new experience out of your brew–whether you’re looking for a tea cocktail you can enjoy with friends...a decadent dessert….or even a tea-infused cookie. Enjoy!

Mixing it Up: Tea Cocktails

Most of us have seen coffee-infused cocktails (Hello, Bailey's Irish Cream + Coffee + Whipped Cream) on different menus, but many of us haven’t thought of putting tea into an alcoholic drink. Instead, we tend to reserve our infused brews for when we’re feeling a little...tamer.

Well, we’re here to mix things up for you. Tea has a wildly dynamic flavor profile that pairs excellently with all kinds of alcohol. Tea in your drink offers more than a two-dimensional sugary fruit + alcohol combo, for example–adding bitter, herbal, sharp, and sweet flavors that taste amazing with your favorite mixers. In fact, tea has been mixed with alcohol for hundreds of years, dating all the way back to 18th century “punches.”

Fast forward a couple hundred years, and we’re reviving this trend–this time with an eclectic mix of our high-quality, curated teas made with superfood fruits, nuts, spices, and more. That being the case, Rare Brew has developed our own library of tea recipes for cocktails to make this stay-at-home summer just a little more exciting:

Fresh Harvest

Fresh Harvest is a sophisticated cocktail featuring our Raspberry Pomegranate Tea, tequila, and Thai Basil. Refreshing and not too sweet–perfect for your post-remote work cocktail.

1 oz prepared, cool Raspberry Pomegranate Rare Brew tea (see directions below)
2 oz tequila
4 leaves Thai basil
3/4 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup

Steep 4 teaspoons of Raspberry Pomegranate tea with 8 oz of hot water for two minutes. Let it cool and measure out 1 oz. Then combine tea, Thai Basil, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a shaker, shake well and strain into a coupe or martini glass. Garnish with an edible flower or a lemon twist.

Kentucky Tea

Kentucky Tea is a Southern-inspired drink in the roundup, featuring our Bourbon Ginger Pear blend and our personal favorite–bourbon. Kick back on the porch (or the couch) and enjoy.

4-6 oz prepared, cool Bourbon Ginger Pear Rare Brew tea (see directions below)
2 oz bourbon or rye whiskey
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup

Steep 2 teaspoons of Bourbon Ginger Pear with 8 oz of hot water for two minutes. Let it cool, and measure out 4-6 oz. Then, combine tea, bourbon, simple syrup, and lemon juice into a shaker. Shake well and strain into a tall glass over ice. Top with tea and stir to combine. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

Blueberry Toddy

Here’s our tea-infused twist on the classic hot toddy–made with our Blueberry Earl Grey.

4-8 oz prepared, hot Blueberry Earl Grey Rare Brew tea (see directions below)
2 oz bourbon or rye whiskey
1 oz honey
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice

Steep 2 teaspoons of Blueberry Earl Grey with 8 oz of hot water for three minutes. Carefully add hot tea to whiskey, honey, and lemon in a mug or footed coffee glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

Garden Cooler

No one has garden parties anymore...but you can still drink like you do. Nothing says summer like mint, cucumber, vodka, and our Green Tea Piña Colada brew.

4-6 oz prepared, cool Green Tea Piña Colada Rare Brew Tea (see directions below)
10 mint leaves
4 slices cucumber
2 oz vodka
1/2 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz lemon juice

Steep 4 teaspoons of Green Tea Piña Colada with 8 oz of hot water for two minutes and let cool. Measure out 4-6 oz of tea. Muddle mint and cucumber in a shaker. Add cooled tea, vodka, simple syrup, lemon juice, and ice. Shake well and strain into a tall glass over ice. Top with tea and stir to combine. Garnish with a mint sprig.

Georgia Blues

Submitted by Rare Brew fan Linda Thomas in our cocktail recipe contest, “Georgia Blues” is a sweet Southern spin on a summer cocktail–pairing our Blueberry Earl Grey with fresh peaches, blueberries, and Peach Schnapps.

2 teaspoons of Rare Brew Earl Grey
8 oz hot water
1 ½ oz Peach Schnapps
A fresh peace, cut into slices
A handful of fresh or frozen blueberries

Steep Blueberry Earl Grey in 8 oz hot water for three minutes. Pour into a glass with ice, add Peach Schnapps, and stir. Add fresh peach slices and blueberries, and enjoy!

Chocolate Cherry Avalanche

Submitted by Rare Brew fan Vanessa Ronspies, “Chocolate Cherry Avalanche” is a decadent dessert cocktail that combines our Chocolate Cherry Tea with a rich combo of vanilla ice cream, cherries, Bailey's Irish Cream, and chocolate liqueur. A big favorite for our chocolate lovers...and definitely our sexiest drink.

2 teaspoons of Rare Brew’s Chocolate Cherry Tea
4 oz hot water
2 scoops of vanilla ice cream
6 cherries
1 oz Bailey’s Irish Cream
1 oz chocolate liqueur
A drizzle (or two) of chocolate sauce

Steep Chocolate Cherry Tea with 4 oz of hot water for three minutes. Meanwhile, blend vanilla ice cream with cherries, Bailey's, chocolate liqueur, and a few ice cubes. Combine with the tea and pour into a tall glass drizzled with chocolate sauce. More chocolate on top if you’re feeling “extra”!

DIY: Tea Combos That Work

If you’re into playing around with your own flavor combos, here are some ideas for developing your own unique tea-infused recipes for cocktails, mocktails, and even desserts.

Tea + Fruit

Most teas will pair well with fruity flavors, especially bold, juicy flavors found in berries and stone fruits. Try adding frozen fruit to a tea + liquor + soda water mix, or macerating a combo of stone fruit and berries with tea and simple syrup.

Tea + Alt Milk

If you’re dairy-free, try combining hot (or cold) tea with your favorite alt milk–green teas pair especially well with coconut milk, and black teas taste amazing with rich, creamy oat or cashew milk. If you’re extra crafty, you can even try steeping tea with alt milk (instead of water), and then using the infusion to make homemade ice cream (We’re thinking almond milk + Dark Chocolate Cherry sounds pretty bomb).

Tea + Cookies

Yep, we said it. Tea-infused cookies taste amazing, and they’re easy to make, too. Try infusing melted butter with loose leaf tea to make your very own shortbread cookies (Matcha Mind Control and Blueberry Earl Grey are two of our favorites). Then, enjoy with–what else–a cup of tea.

Bottom Line? Tea Is Freaking Awesome

The bottom line?

Tea is freaking awesome.

It goes way farther than your basic hot or cold brew (although we’ll never turn down that, either). Whether you love a good cocktail or you’re more of a dessert person, you can use tea to change things up, add layers of flavor, and create your very own unique recipes.

The one thing to remember? Using a high-quality loose leaf tea–like Rare Brew’s–imparts the rich flavor needed in cocktails and desserts. Check out our full list of brews (and start planning your next tea-infused recipe).

Want more reasons why tea is awesome? Read our ebook: Tea Won't Make You a Superhero...But it Will Come Close.