Take your tea shaken, not stirred

6:35 pm

You could be forgiven for thinking that tea is best served hot with milk and sugar or perhaps lemon but in the summer when its hot and you're in the mood for somthing a little bit different. Tea cocktails can be the perfect, albeit quite alcoholic, alternative to champagne.

In fact combining tea with alcohol and mixers is a time-honored practice dating back to 19th century America when iced tea would be combined with fruit juices and spirits to create festive bowls of punch. More recent cocktails of the same type include the Royal Tea (a chilled drink of equal parts brewed Earl Grey tea and gin with lemon juice and sugar) and the Blueberry Tea (a blend of Grand Marnier, Amaretto and hot black tea).

Below are some suggestions for afternoon tea cocktails.
The Tea - Tini

1 3/4 oz vodka
1 oz sweet iced tea
1/4 oz fresh lemon juice
lemon wedge for garnish

Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
Shake well.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass rimmed with sugar.
Garnish with the lemon wedge.

Oolong Mojito (makes two)

2 measures of your favourite rum
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 tsp unrefined sugar
2-4 sprigs of fresh mint- (just the tips not the bigger leaves.)
1 cup of Oolong left to cool (very important so the mint leaves don't "cook")

First wash the leaves by pouring hot water over them and then quickly discarding the water. This will soften the leaves and allow them to infuse better. Use 1 dessert spoon of oolong to 1 tea cup of hot water and infused for oneminute (not a small pinch of tea left to infuse for several minutes). Leave to cool. Muddle the sugar and mint leaves together in a cocktail shaker. Add the teaand stir until the sugar dissolves. Squeeze in the lime, add the rum andshake with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Genteel Gentlemen’s Lemon Fizz (Serves 6)

1 cup water
4 teaspoons black Darjeeling tealeaves
4 tablespoon ginger syrup
5-6 lemons, juiced
1 cup gin
2 cups sparkling water

In small saucepan, bring 1 cup water to boil.
Add the tealeaves and keep boiling for 15 minutes.
Strain and allow to cool. Add the lemon juice, ginger syrup, and gin.
Slowly stir in the sparkling water.

Serve up in a tea pot and tea cups for a eccentric tea party!

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