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Smells Like Tea Spirit

  01/15/2021 at 16:58 pm

When it comes to cocktail history, everything old is new again, including the use of tea in cocktails. Tea and hooch have a long history, which dates back at least a few centuries in Western Europe, to the days when British colonialism was revving up to its peak. Back then, workers from the British East India Company created punches, large format boozy bowls, using tea, rum, citrus and spices for sipping during sea voyages to Asia and other tropical climes.

During the few hundred years that followed, tea consumption exploded across the globe. Those old punches were the precursors to today’s tipples, shrinking gradually to single-size servings. Today, tea is beloved not only for its endlessly interesting flavors and aromas but also for its health benefits. According to a 2020 survey conducted by Seton Hall University and commissioned by the Tea Council of the USA, consumers have flocked to tea for its ties to heart health, immune support, and improvement of mood. That’s something we can definitely get behind. In honor of National Hot Tea Month, here are a couple of cool cocktails made with Camellia sinensis ― that is, tea. 

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It is #FlashbackFriday after all, so how about a cocktail flashback from our beloved Annex. This one is the perfect blend of floral, spicy, and soothing. 

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For the Earl Grey Tea Syrup 

4 oz sugar
Hot water
8 oz strong Earl Grey tea (use 3-4 tea bags)

For the Toddy

2 oz Old Forester Bourbon
1 oz Earl Grey tea syrup
1 oz Honey Syrup (50:50 honey and hot water)
1oz lemon juice
5 oz Red Jacket Apple Cider, steamed 
Cinnamon, for garnish
Lemon slice, studded with cloves, for garnish 


For the Earl Grey Tea Syrup

  1. Pour the sugar into a large container, then add just enough warm water to cover the sugar. 

  2. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.

  3. Add the concentrated Earl Grey tea until the mixture turns a deep ruby-amber color. 

For the Toddy

  1. Combine the bourbon, Earl Grey tea syrup, honey syrup, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into a 12-oz mug. 

  2. Top with hot cider and garnish as desired. 


A chilly day framed in the window, a blanket over your lap, a hot mug of deliciousness held in both hands, and a solidly blank to-do list. That’s the dream, right? Here’s our tea-licious take on that classic aprés-ski, the Stinger, made with peppermint tea, rum, and hot chocolate syrup. 

4 oz, plus 1 tsp hot water 
1 sachet peppermint tea
2 oz chocolate syrup
2 oz rum
¼ t sugar
1 Tbsp heavy cream
2 t hot water


  1. Bring water to a boil, and pour 4oz into your favorite mug (or fill your mug halfway). Place the tea sachet in water to brew for 3-5 minutes.

  2. While the tea is steeping, combine the chocolate syrup, sugar, rum, and heavy cream in a small bowl or measuring cup. Whisk until the mixture is fully combined and the sugar has dissolved. Slowly whisk in the remaining hot water. 

  3. Pour the chocolate mixture into the tea and stir to combine. 



This one is a beautifully aromatic take on the Tom Collins, one of the most well-known cocktails in the world. Our version utilizes gin-infused green tea. Sip back and enjoy!

1-2 sachets Teapigs Jasmin Pearls Tea
4 oz Dry Dock Gin
1½ oz Simple Syrup
1½ oz Lemon Juice
Club Soda, as needed
Orange slice or Maraschino cherry, for garnish

  1. Add the tea to the gin and set aside to infuse for up to 30 minutes. 

  2. Combine the infused gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. 

  3. Shake for about 30 seconds and strain into a Collins or rocks glass. 

  4. Top with club soda, then stir and garnish as desired. 

  5. Place gin, syrup, and juice in your tin with ice.

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By The Greene Grape
Accessible Version