Autumnal Tea Cocktails
Sparkling White Tea & Pear Mimosa
Apples seem to be the ubiquitous autumnal fruit, so I thought it would be fun to focus on a fruit that is just as delicious but doesn't get quite as much love: the pear. Pears are sweet and a bit mellow, a nice fruit to pair with white tea. I decided to add a bit of sparkle to this cocktail because who doesn't love a bit of sparkle now and then?
(makes 2 cocktails)
— 8 oz water
— 2 tbsp Adagio White Pear tea
— 2 oz pear juice
— ¼ cup diced pear: Bosc, Comice, or Anjou are great choices!
— pomegranate seeds
Place the tea in a mug or teapot. Bring the water to a boil and then let stand for about 30 seconds. Pour into mug and steep the tea for 3-5 minutes. Strain and allow the tea to cool. Once fully cool, divide the tea into 2 champagne flutes. Add the pear juice and fill the rest of the glasses with prosecco. Drop in a few pomegranate seeds and the diced pear for a touch of color and brightness. This is a drink festive enough start your fanciest dinner party, or just a lovely sip before a quiet dinner for two.
Fireside Old-Fashioned Cocktail
A smoky cocktail just feels like autumn to me. I think of sitting around a campfire cuddled in a heavy sweater, or nestled by a fireplace feeling warm and content.
To create a smooth and balanced drink, I like to make simple syrup out of a super smoky lapsang souchong tea and sugar. It's easy! In a small pot, boil a cup of water, then turn off the heat and add 4 tbsp of the tea. Once it's steeped for about 5 minutes, add in a cup of sugar (I like to use demerara sugar since it has a richer flavor that accents the smoke) and mix until dissolved. Cool completely and strain into a vessel you can store in the fridge. This drink can be customized for your taste — a little more water and ice if it's too strong, or less if you want it to pack more of a flavor punch.
(makes 1 cocktail)
— 1 oz bourbon
— 1 oz lapsang souchong tea simple syrup
— Angostura bitters
— 1/2-1 oz water to taste
— 1-2 ice cubes
— orange peel garnish
Put the orange peel in your glass and muddle it a little bit with the back of a spoon to release the citrus flavor. Pour in the bourbon, simple syrup and a dash of bitters. Add a little more syrup if you desire. Mix and then add 1/2 oz of water, more if you prefer it. Drop in the ice cubes. This is a cocktail that's bitter, smoky and sweet. I think the simple syrup rounds it out nicely. Our take on the old fashioned brings a new tea twist.
Spiced Tea Toddy
Finally, we can't have an autumn cocktail list without one that is warm and comforting. A few years ago, I started making hot toddies when I was feeling a bit under the weather, and realized you don't need a cold to enjoy this soothing beverage. This recipe uses spices commonly found in pumpkin pie, and is the perfect thing to sip while you sit in a comfy chair, watching the leaves slowly tumble from the trees.
(makes 1 cocktail)
— 1 1/2 cups water
— 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled & macerated
— 1/2 inch piece cinnamon stick
— 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
— 2 whole cloves
1 tbsp Assam tea
1 tbsp honey (to taste)
2 oz bourbon
Bring the water and spices to a boil in a small saucepan. Lower the heat and gently simmer for 5 minutes and then add in the tea. Turn off the heat and allow to steep for another 5 minutes. Add in the honey (taste and you can always add more if necessary). Strain into a mug and add in the bourbon. Find the nearest comfortable chair and fuzzy blanket. Window, good book, or fireplace is optional.
Tea cocktails are a fun way to highlight your favorite teas in a festive way. Add in a few fall flavors and you have a true celebration for the season. Enjoy!