HOW TO CREATE TEA MOCKTAILS TO CUT DOWN YOUR ALCOHOL INTAKE
Discover how to create your own tea mocktails using what you’ve got in the house so that you can cut down your alcohol intake and wake up fresh as a daisy without spending a fortune on sugary packaged options.
We’re more aware now more than ever about the importance of looking after ourselves physically as well as mentally. With everything that’s going on in the world at the moment, it’s tempting to reach for the wine bottle a little too often, which can make it harder to get in the right zone the next day. With a few simple tricks, however, perhaps there’s another habit you could introduce that might fulfil that need for a nice drink to unwind with but leave you waking up bright eyed and bushy tailed the next morning?
I’m talking about cold brewed tea. It’s super easy, entirely customisable depending on your tastes, incredibly versatile and tastes amazing. Our mission at eteaket is to empower you to live life on purpose through the pause for whole leaf tea, whether it’s hot, cold, in a tea latte or even in a tea cocktail. I’m also a huge proponent for loose leaf tea particularly in the current climate of excess packaging and single use plastic awareness.
HOW DO YOU COLD BREW TEA?
Cold brew tea is way easier to make and explain than iced tea because you don’t have to worry about the steeping time and the temperature of the water and on the whole it’s a much more forgiving (and some would say rewarding experience).
Simply put your tea in a jug (2 tsps or 2 bags per 500ml water), add fresh, cold water and pop in the fridge for a minimum 3 hours (overnight is perfect). Remove leaves and enjoy. Use loose leaf if you can as you’re then free to experiment and blend and it’s also generally more cost effective. You can add a little dissolved honey if you like. Almost all teas and infusions can be cold brewed and it’s so incredibly versatile. You can use it as a base for a tea mocktail, tea latte or even a tea hot chocolate.
You’ll find that cold brewed tea tastes much smoother and there’s much less astringency and bitterness. You can generally also taste more complex layers of flavours.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND COLD BREW TEA
Why? Imagine you’re in that jug of cold water and tea. It’s calm and serene. Everything’s just bobbing about: leaves, water molecules and trapped oxygen just hanging out together. Now imagine you’re in a teapot with boiling water being poured over you! It’s a bit like floating in the shallows on a Jamaican beach as opposed to white water rafting the Grand Canyon.
The shy, molecules from the tea leaves that very rarely show their true selves eventually get with the chilled vibe, pop on their bikini and start to mingle. All the flavour compounds like various carbohydrates and amino acids and even a polyphenol or a caffeine molecule join the party. Eventually, the water molecules start to break tea compounds away from the tea leaves (which by now will have sunk to the bottom of the jug).
Unlike the white water rafters in hot water, where the energy from the heat causes the water to move faster, crashing into the tea leaves and stripping away large and small molecules in a frenzied motion, the cold brew party is a much more civilised affair. In the cold brew jug, the simple carbohydrates will come off the leaf and into the water first, followed by the more shy amino acids. But it’s still too much of an ask for the peely wally compounds that tend to add the more astringent flavours in tea, like Polyphenols and caffeine. You do get some of these in cold brewed tea but a tiny proportion compared to the hot brewed counterparts.
That goes some way to explaining why cold brewed tea tends to taste sweeter and smoother, because there are more of the sweeter carbohydrates and the smoother amino acids, all of which create a complex, multi-layered liquor. Finally, the wall flowers get a chance to shine and there’s no place for the hard polyphenols and bitter caffeine to show off.
Cold brewing tea is a perfect way to experiment with different teas and infusions and makes cutting down on alcohol much easier, particularly if you play around with some tea mocktail recipes.
It seems clear that people are certainly more conscious of their alcohol intake and there’s definitely a growing trend towards interesting non-alcoholic soft drinks. More and more restaurants are now offering interesting mocktails or Shim cocktails (with lower alcohol content than usual) and some bars are even maintaining a zero alcohol policy.
WHAT TEAS WORK WELL?
What teas are best? I recommend starting with a tea that you’re familiar with (as long as it’s quality whole leaf tea – you might not want to enhance the flavours of your standard supermarket tea bag). If you’re an earl grey addict, try brewing it in cold water for 3 hours instead and add a slice of lemon. You will be surprised by the different and complex flavours. It’s also a great way to stay hydrated, just opt for a caffeine free herbal or fruit infusion. My personal favourite is Sea Buckthorn Blend. For a sophisticated dinner party, you can’t go wrong with a great oolong or Silver Needle white tea, which is best served in a wine glass. Our barrel aged Tomatin Whisky tea is also perfect served at ambient temperature in a whisky glass.
Then for mocktails and cocktails, anything goes. You can either make the cold tea into a gomme by adding a little sugar syrup or try infusing the tea straight into the liquor. I’ve included some of our favourite recipes below to get you started – you must try our Isle of Harris Gin Tea mocktail.
A NOTE ON CAFFEINE
A note on caffeine. The average cup of tea has at least half as much caffeine in it that the average cup of coffee. Even less when you’re comparing it to an espresso based coffee. Also, the caffeine in tea reacts differently on you which is how you often feel both alert and relaxed at the same time. Magic leaves indeed. Having said that, it’s wise to limit your caffeine intake at night and to instead opt for caffeine free herbal & fruit infusions.
So there you have it. It’s time to get experimenting with cold brewed tea. I can’t stress enough the importance of stopping for tea both for your physical and mental health. Whether it’s a pot of Breakfast Blend with a loved one, a flask of cold brew tea while out for a run, a mocktail at dinner or a tea latte for a mid-afternoon pick me up, there’s a tea for it. Try some of the recipes below and let us know how you get on @eteaket.
Chocolate Abyss Mint Julep (Mocktail)
· 1 tsp Chocolate Abyss Tea
· sugar to taste
· fresh mint (finger full)
· 1 lime
· soda water
· Make your tea reduction by brewing 1 tsp Chocolate Abyss tea in just over 50ml boiling water, dissolve some sugar and remove leaves after around 5 mins.
· Put 50ml of tea reduction into a shaker, add ice, a finger full of bruised mint leaves & a quartered lime.
· Shake well and pour the entirety into a rocks glass.
· Top with soda and garnish with a sprig of mint.
ISLE OF HARRIS GIN TEA MOCKTAIL
· 50 ml tonic water
· 25ml lemon Juice
· Isle of Harris Gin Tea Blend (make into 20ml of gomme)
· Marmalade (1tbsp)
· Grapefruit peel
· Prepare the tea gomme by adding 3 tsps of eteaket Isle of Harris Gin Tea per 300ml of boiling water. Then let sugar dissolve in it in a 1:1 ratio.
· Add 50ml of tonic water and a bar spoon of marmalade into a mixing glass then stir to create a thick liquid.
· Add 25ml of fresh lemon juice and 20ml of tea gomme into the mixing glass.
· Shake with ice then fine strain into glass and garnish with a twist of grapefruit peel.
TROPICAL TEASE PINA COLADA
· 1 tsp Tropical Tease fruit infusion
· 30 ml coconut milk
· 2 pineapple slices
· 1/4 mango cut into pieces
· 1/4 lemon
· 1/2 tsp coconut sugar (or honey)
· Put 1 tsp of tropical tease in 80 mls of boiling water.
· Remove the leaves after 5 mins & cool.
· Put the iced tea, coconut milk, pineapple, mango, juice of 1/4 lemon, coconut sugar (or honey if you prefer) & ice into a jug and blend till smooth.
· Pour into your favourite glass and garnish with a lemon wedge.