Functional tea-based cocktails

The ‘functional beverage’ boom  

 

The trend towards sustainable consumption was already evident on our plates: local, seasonal, vegetable or organic products are the preferred choice. Many consumers are seeking to adopt a healthier and more natural diet.

This trend, though not novel, is booming and is also impacting the drinks industry. Consumers in search of alternatives now look for functional beverages that are both tasty and hydrating.

Among them, coffee and tea are assuredly the most consumed beverages in the world. Tea is second only to water with 1.5 billion cups drunk every day. In France, 2 out of 3 French people drink tea. Its consumption has tripled in the last twenty-five years (source: Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO).

Other functional drinks are gradually making their way onto the shelves: energy drinks for athletes, enhanced waters, Ayurvedic drinks, relaxation drinks … there’s something for everyone.

Tea cocktails, functional drinks

 

The mixology world is not indifferent to changes in consumer behaviour either. Indeed, bartenders aware of environmental and health concerns are adapting, slowly drifting back to simpler recipes. The three-ingredient rule is the perfect example of a desire to highlight the origin and quality of ingredients. And quality often means practicality!

This is how tea found itself in shakers to the delight of customers looking for functional drinks. Tea-based cocktails are a great way to continue consuming one of our favourite drinks throughout the day and not exclusively at breakfast or at the end of meals. That way you can freely enjoy a tea cocktail as an aperitif. The iced version is also very popular during the summer months, at any time of the day.

Tea, a resourceful ingredient

On the creative side, tea offers limitless possibilities for experimentation; a real treat for cocktail experts. It is very often combined with a dash of tonic, sparkling water or ginger ale. And to top it off, the secret lies in adding a syrupy note. The combination of these three ingredients results in tasty, gourmet and sometimes even surprising mixtures.

Here are a few combination ideas:

• Green or white tea + a syrup of your choice: bergamot, jasmine, white peach, hibiscus, passion fruit, lychee or pineapple.

• Red tea + a syrup of your choice: cherry, pink grapefruit, cranberry, lychee, mango and spices, or ginger.

• Black tea + a syrup of your choice: blueberry, passion fruit, lemongrass or vanilla. Each with a touch of sparkling water (tonic, sparkling water, ginger ale…).

 

In summer, the recipes are fresh and thirst-quenching with floral or fruity notes. During the day, it is served without alcohol and chilled with plenty of ice cubes, for a very

refreshing taste. As temperatures drop, there’s nothing like a spicy blend, with perhaps a bit of cinnamon for delightfully cosy winter flavours.

You can even serve tea cocktails hot! Here’s just a few recipe ideas:

 

Hot Bourbon Sour

 

• 2cl MONIN White Chocolate syrup

• 4cl bourbon whiskey

• 5cl ginger ale

• 15cl hot lemon tea (lemon, lemongrass, orange peel, star anise)

• Garnish: mint and orange peel

 

Earl Grey Grog

 

• 2cl MONIN Earl Grey liqueur

• 1cl MONIN Bergamot syrup

• 2cl mezcal or gin

• 10cl grapefruit hot tea

• Top with tonic

• Garnish: orange peel, cinnamon stick, anise star

 

Bergamot Toddy

 

• 1cl MONIN Lime Rantcho

• 2cl MONIN Bergamot syrup

• 4cl London Dry Gin

• 15cl hot green tea

• 4 dashes grapefruit bitter

• Garnish: star anise, lime, cardamon

To make a tea cocktail like a pro, the leaves should be infused in the desired liquid. The tea is brewed in hot liquid, the traditional way. It can also be left to macerate for at least an hour in a room temperature liquid (water, milk, alcohol, etc.). No matter the method used, this step should not be neglected as each tea must undergo the full infusion time to bring out its characteristics.

The infusion time will also sometimes allow, especially with black teas, to play on the richness of the flavours and the degree of bitterness.

Finally, when serving cocktails, it can be interesting to recall the origin of the teas used as well as their culture, as some are worthy of the grand cru designation. In some cases, there is a whole story to be told, drawn from the origins of tea, a delight for the consumer in search of meaning. When it is of quality, and delicately balanced, this ingredient will only enhance your creations!