Most tend to think of tea cocktails as a somewhat new occurrence. You take a classic drink, broaden the flavor profile with black tea concentrate and then add spirits, seltzer or other mixers. Yet, at least in the U.S., tea cocktails date back to the Colonial era: At that point, it was somewhat common to mix brewed tea with alcohol and serve it over ice.
Today, especially with cocktails going in a sweeter direction, black tea concentrate provides a change of pace without throwing off the flavor. For some ideas involving Buddy State tea concentrate, we’ve compiled some mocktails and cocktail recipes:
Although mocktails get perceived as alcohol-free cocktails, they’re a flavorful, mixed drink you can have at any time of the day, and offer an option to keep drinking and socializing once you feel like you’ve hit your limit. The lack of alcohol also makes mocktails a more hydrating option during a night out.
Where does black tea concentrate fit into this picture? In general, it provides an alcohol substitute or flavor enhancer that’s complemented by bar syrups and other drink ingredients, often creating a somewhat bitter contrast that tones down the overall sweetness.
To incorporate tea into a mocktail:
- Sweeten the tea concentrate with orgeat to replicate a Mai Tai, Trinidad Sour or another tropical flavor.
- Try a tonic syrup for more bite, playing the tea and syrup combination off a less-sweet citrus, like lemon or grapefruit juice.
- Treat the low-sugar tea concentrate as a syrup, adding it to any combination of juice and soda involving a sweetener.
- Make a non-alcoholic old fashioned by replacing whiskey with black tea concentrate and bitters with vanilla sweetener.
Black tea concentrate pairs well with gin, vodka and tequila. To change up some of your favorite drink recipes, try the following tea cocktails:
- Old Fashioned: Start off with a stronger black tea concentrate before adding sugar or syrup, bitters and a slice of orange.
- Gin Cocktail: Begin with a straightforward gin and tea cocktail, and then add a flavor infuser to expand the profile. Common options include a lemon wedge or orange slice. After, complete your drink with something carbonated, like sparkling wine or soda, and pour a few tablespoons of simple syrup. Have your drink sit for a few hours, so that all flavors meld together.
- Rum Punch: Get a stronger, less sweet rum punch courtesy of the tannins present in tea concentrate. As this recipe has some flexibility, start with one-part sours, keep half of it sweet, and then finish with a strong rum balanced with a more versatile base. One option involves combining lime juice, simple syrup, tea concentrate, rum and water.
- Bee’s Knees: This Prohibition Era drink combines gin, lemon and honey. Consider replacing part of the honey with black tea concentrate for a deeper, more complex flavor.
- Martini: Make a shaken drink that’s half tea concentrate and half gin and tonic, with a touch of lemon for a hint of sour.
- Hot Toddy: Start this winter cocktail with whiskey or brandy, and then give it some flavor through a mix of hot tea, lemon, honey, cinnamon and cloves.
- John Daly: This alcoholic Arnold Palmer adds vodka to the half iced tea, half lemonade combination.
Taste the possibilities of Buddy State. Made with Rainforest Alliance certified tea, our tea concentrate adds less sugar than bottled beverages, comes in three distinctive flavors and is ready for use as an iced, hot or alcoholic beverage.