Tips for Making Tea-Inspired Drinks

Mixology and Tea

Mixology refers to the skill of mixing cocktails and other drinks. A true mixologist is both creative and innovative and is familiar with the tastes, textures and properties of the ingredients being utilised. Dilmah offers a myriad of tea varieties from the traditional black, green, yellow, white and oolong teas to the tisanes/herbal teas such as chamomile which hail from the hills of Ceylon.

Tea Mixology

Tea Mixology brings together a modern art form and combines it with the rich and vibrant history of tea. It is the art of infusing the different types of tea, both traditional and tisanes/herbal, into cocktails and other drinks. Tea has a range of flavours and aromas that can be used to form the base of cocktails and other drinks to further enhance the flavours of all ingredients.

Tea Mixology Tools

There are some basic tools that are required for a tea mixologist:

  • Shakers
  • Strainers
  • Glassware
  • Bar spoons
  • Knives
Basics of Tea Mixology

To be a truly great mixologist, like with anything else, the basics are important. Here are some simple tips for infusing tea to your beverage:

Brewing Different Teas

Each type of tea is unique and as a result is brewed differently:

  • General guide for light brew:
    • Black and Oolong tea should be brewed for 3 minutes
    • Green tea should be brewed for 1.5 minutes
  • General guide for medium brew:
    • Black and Oolong tea should be brewed for 4 minutes
    • Green tea should be brewed for 2 minutes
  • General guide for strong brew:
    • Black and Oolong tea should be brewed for 5 minutes
    • Green tea should be brewed for 2.5 minutes
  • White tea and tea infusions:
    • These teas should be brewed for 2-3 minutes

Different Ways to Use Tea

Tea can be utilised in several different ways in Mixology:

  • Infusions of Tea
  • Infuse your favourite tea with your favourite brand of spirits. Ensure the tea and the spirits complement each other.
  • Tea Syrup
  • Create your own tea syrup to add to your cocktails with your favourite tea and white sugar.
  • Straining Through Tea
  • For a subtle and delicate flavour, strain your cocktail through infused tea leaves.
  • Ice Cubes
  • Make tea ice cubes to add to your beverages to give it a unique flavour and colour.
  • Garnish
  • Dry tea leaves can be used to garnish your drinks.

6 Golden Rules of Mixology:

  1. Always use fresh ingredients.
  2. High quality brands of liquor, liqueur, juice and soda should be used.
  3. The correct glassware is a necessity.
  4. Ice cubes should be large, cold, hard and dry and ensure to have a lot of it.
  5. Be consistent; use correct recipes and correct techniques.
  6. Garnishing should be pleasing and simple with fresh ingredients.

Tips and Tricks

  • For the perfect tea mixology, a perfect tea brew is required. One cup of tea can be brewed with one tea bag or one teaspoon of tea. Water should be boiled once. The water should be poured directly onto the tea leaves or tea bag. Ensure to keep your brewing vessel firmly closed for the period of brewing recommended as per the type of tea. Always ensure to use a stainless-steel strainer when serving loose leaf tea.
  • For mixing purposes, a medium to strong brew is always required. This is due to the tea diluting on ice. A stronger tea therefore will ensure the flavour is retained.
  • The general recommendation of tea leaves to water is 2.5g of tea for 200ml for finer teas and 3.5g of tea for 200ml if larger leaf tea is being used.
  • A general guideline for pairing is lighter teas blend well with lighter spirits and heavier teas are better companions for dark spirits. However, it is recommended that the mixologists experiment with the different teas and spirits to discover the blends that work.

Cocktail of Earl Grey Tea and Quince Gel Recipe

Ingredients

Method

Prepare the Earl Grey Dilmah T-series and sweeten it with 40g of quince gel and let it cool down. Place 15g of quince gel in each glass, add the tea (already cooled) up to ¾ of the glass and the dehydrated apple peeling letting it infuse for one minute and add the sparkling up to the top. Serve it chilled.

Tea Mixology is the perfect example of a blend of modern times and history, that comes together to create a beautiful and delightful adventure. With the help of our tried and tested tea-inspired recipes, you can get started!