Believe it or not, but a beverage you indulge in daily or even multiple times per day can serve as the base ingredient for a myriad of tasty cocktails. What is this secret, but also not-so-secret ingredient? Tea! The versatility of tea when used in cocktails is nearly infinite.
You can use tea to create a cozy, hot cocktail or you can also use your favorite tea to craft a refreshing, summer-friendly sip. Whether you're one to indulge in a spice-heavy chai tea or prefer a refreshing hibiscus tea, the cocktails ahead all make great use of tea as an ingredient.
Earl Grey Gin Fizz
The Recipe: Earl Grey Gin Fizz
The Hero Ingredient: An Earl Grey honey simple syrup serves as the sweetener in this cocktail and also incorporates the warm, fragrant flavor of Earl Grey tea.
Pro Tip: The Charming Detroiter's Sarah DeLeon provides the following instructions to create your own Earl Grey honey simple syrup: "Combine water and honey in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally and heat until the honey has dissolved. Turn off the heat. Add tea bags and allow to steep for 15 minutes. Remove tea bags and allow simple syrup to cool before transferring to an airtight glass jar."
Why We Love It: From the blood orange juice to the homemade Earl Grey honey simple syrup, the assortment of ingredients in this cocktail really keeps you on on your toes.
Hibiscus Cherry Vodka Spritz
The Recipe: Hibiscus Cherry Vodka Spritz
The Hero Ingredient: Not only do fresh cherries give this cocktail its amazing color, they also add just the right amount of sweetness.
Pro Tip: Tieghan Gerard of Half Baked Harvest offers these instructions for creating the cherry and hibiscus tea: "It’s pretty simple, just mash a ton of fresh cherries (mine are from Frog Hollow Farm in California and they are the sweetest bing cherries), add dried hibiscus flowers, and hot water. Steep for ten minutes or so and then strain out all the pulp and flowers."
Why We Love It: The use of a homemade cherry and hibiscus tea makes for a deliciously one of a kind cocktail that's bursting with color.
Apple Chai Whiskey Sour
The Recipe: Apple Chai Whiskey Sour
The Hero Ingredient: Easily one of the most flavorful teas you can incorporate into your cocktail, the chai tea in this sip adds a welcoming touch of warmth.
Pro Tip: Instead of egg whites, Cooks With Cocktails reveal that you can use aquafaba (the liquid in a can of chickpeas). "You can try aquafaba. This is a vegan alternative to egg whites and it will also make your drink frothy," they explain.
Why We Love It: From the spice of the chai tea to the citrus from the fresh lemon juice, this cocktail is brimming with flavor.
Blackberry Sweet Tea Sangria
The Recipe: Blackberry Sweet Tea Sangria
The Hero Ingredient: Muddled blackberries add a modest amount of fruity gusto to this take on sangria.
Pro Tip: Sarah DeLeon of The Charming Detroiter recommends using family size tea bags for this big batch-friendly drink. "I like to use the family size tea bags for this recipe – I make a huge batch of sweet tea and then make individual sangria cocktails as people want them," she says.
Why We Love It: Although perfect for a cool summer night, this Blackberry Sweet Tea Sangria can be sipped year-round thanks to its easy to find ingredients.
Hibiscus Tea Arnold Palmer
The Recipe: Hibiscus Tea Arnold Palmer
The Hero Ingredient: Dried hibiscus petals are used to make the hibiscus tea in this drink, creating a truly authentic taste.
Pro Tip: Given that the Hibiscus Tea Arnold Palmer also features a non-alcoholic option, Feed Me Phoebe's Phoebe Lapine offers a quick tip for those adding booze. "If If you're adding booze, you may want a little more maple syrup. I tried to make these healthier by keeping the sweetness to a minimum," she says.
Why We Love It: As if the Arnold Palmer wasn't already refreshing enough, this cocktail really ups the ante.
Vanilla Chai Tea White Russian
The Recipe: Vanilla Chai Tea White Russian
The Hero Ingredient: An easy-to-make chai tea simple syrup easily elevates this take on the classic White Russian.
Pro Tip: Tieghan Gerard of Half Baked Harvest offers a few suggestions on when you should serve this sip. "For whatever reason, I see this as more of an after dinner kind of drink, but obviously you can serve it any time of day," she reveals. "It would be a great brunch cocktail too."
Why We Love It: One glass of this spiced up sip and you might never return to your classic White Russian.