Add Tea to These Three Classic Cocktails; Win Xmas

We call it the alternative toddy. Get some.

By The Editors
December 24, 2015 9:00 am

Who doesn’t love a good hot toddy? Whiskey, honey, lemon — it’s a thing of wintry beauty. But what if we told you there were renegade barhands out there mixing up alternative toddies comprised of black tea, brandy and rye?

We’re telling you that’s a thing. We’re also telling you it’s delicious.

It comes care of Jane Danger, bartender extraordinaire at NYC Cuban hotspot Cienfuegos, who loves spicing up her spirits with a little loose leaf tea. “Loose leaf tea is very versatile,” says Danger. “You can infuse a gin with tea or make syrup out of it. It’s the perfect setting for cocktails. I enjoy the control you’re given over the amount, and therefore flavor, making it a great ingredient for mixing and experimenting.”

When it comes to holiday drinking, Danger recommends dropping the needle on “Feliz Navidad” while sipping her signature White Chocolate Christmas cocktail — a riff on the Puerto Rican holiday classic Coquito featuring white chocolate rooibos tea.

Here’s that recipe, along with two more Danger-spun Christmas cocktails that wed booze with some of your grandma’s favorite afternoon cuppas.

Feliz Navidad indeed.

Gingerbread Fizz

A hot toddy-style drink served hot or cold.

8 ounces hot water
8 ounces rock sugar
1 ounce Teavana Gingerbread Black Tea
¾ ounce apple brandy
¾ ounce rye
¾ ounce lemon juice
2 ounces club soda
Cherries, orange slices and star anise for garnish

Make tea syrup by adding black tea and rock sugar to eight ounces of hot water. Stir until sugar is dissolved, then steep for ten minutes. Fine-strain one ounce of tea syrup into a large mixing glass. Add apple brandy, rye and lemon juice. Shake and strain over ice in a Collins glass. Top with a splash of club soda, cherry, orange slice and star anise for garnish. (For the hot version, instead of ice, add four ounces hot water. Stir.)

Old Fashioned Joy

This Old Fashioned variant calls for Scotch and allspice dram in place of traditional whiskey and bitters.

1/8 ounce St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
8 ounces hot water
1 ounce Teavana Joy 2015 Flavored Tea Blend
8 ounces rock sugar
2 ounces Scotch
Orange slice and lemon twist for garnish

Make tea syrup by adding tea blend and rock sugar to eight ounces of hot water. Stir until sugar is dissolved, then steep for ten minutes. Fine-strain 1/2 ounce of tea syrup into a large mixing glass. Stir in the Scotch and allspice dram. Strain over ice in a large rocks glass. Garnish with an orange and lemon twist, expressing the oils over the top.

White Chocolate Christmas

A riff on a Puerto Rican holiday classic, the Coquito.

1 tablespoon Teavana White Chocolate Peppermint Rooibos Tea Blend
5 ounces hot water
¼ ounce green Chartreuse
1 ounce sweetened condensed milk
1 ½ ounces Cruzan Black Strap Rum
Fresh mint leaves for garnish

Steep white chocolate peppermint tea in hot water for five minutes. Strain tea over large mixing glass. Whisk in green Chartreuse, condensed milk and rum. Divide into holiday glassware and garnish with fresh mint leaves.

Cocktail images courtesy of Teavana, Albert Cheung

—Marion Bernstein


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