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10 best tea-based cocktails

By Zul Andra
11 September 2012 12:50 PMUpdated 08 Oct 2012

10 best tea-based cocktails

Gin-spiked tea at Skyve Elementary Bistro & Bar

Contrary to what its name suggests, Long Island Tea is not a tea-based cocktail. So in the search for quality cocktails concocted with authentically brewed tea, we found a list of 10 locales that will make the Mad Hatter jump about in inebriated glee and exclaim, ‘Tea-riffic!’

Bubble Tea at City Space
Take your bubble

Bubble tea | Photo credit: City Space

tea addiction to a whole new level (pun not intended) at the top floor of Swissôtel. City Space’s Cocktail Architect Richard Gillam’s Bubble Tea ($22) with an infused base (Sakura tea and Tanqueray gin) takes two hours to brew. Grenadine, freshly pressed grapefruit and cranberry juice are ice-shaken with the gin until well-frosted. Served in a tea ball (dry ice’s dramatic effect aside), the Oriental concoction is an invigorating delight.

City Space| Address: 2 Stamford Road, 70F Swissôtel The Stamford | Tel: 6431 6156 | Opening hours: Sun–Thu 5pm–1am; Fri–Sat 5pm–2am

Choya Lychee Tea at Arteastiq
Where better to get tea-based cocktails other than at an establishment focused solely on tea. There are nine alcoholic teas to choose from at Arteastiq with Choya Lychee Tea ($14) topping the list. Putting the best of Asia in one glass, this cocktail blends both Japan’s Choya ume and the lychee to great effect. The sweetness from the Choya — with apricot and clove overtones — is stronger than the perfumy aroma from the lychee, and the layered sweetness balances the tea’s tannic structure well. A perfect introduction to the other tea cocktails on the menu.

Arteastiq| Address: #04-14/15 Mandarin Gallery, 333A Orchard Road | Opening hours: Daily 11am–11pm

Classic Rum Punch at Jigger & Pony
The classic punch first concocted in the late 17th century was inspired by the spice trade, and used the now rare Batavia arrack, a coconut alcohol. To relive this drink’s true nature, Myer’s rum and Mount Gay rum are used as a base, lime adds the citrusy flavour, and nutmeg shavings complete the concoction. The refreshingly potent beverage is scooped from a bowl with a large block of ice used to decelerate the melting process and retain all the flavors of the punch. ($190 for a bowl that serves 15-20)

Jigger & Pony | Address: 101 Amoy Street | Tel: 6223 9101| Opening hours: Mon–Thu 6pm–1am; Fri–Sat 6pm–3am

Earl Grey Infused Whisky Sour at Nektar
Another Whisky Sour given a tea-based twist is Bar Chef Raveen Misra’s Earl Grey infused cocktail ($26). The main character of this flavorfully balmy cocktail derives from the play between the sweetness of its Maker’s Mark bourbon base and the bergamot essence of TWG’s Earl Grey extracts (unfurled in boiling water for 30 minutes). Instead of Angostura, Misra uses lemon bitters to give the cocktail a more citrusy temperament. Egg white and sugar syrup together with previously mentioned ingredients are all shaken, strained and served with tea leaves as garnish.

Nektar| Address: 31 Scotts Road | Tel: 6836 9185 | Opening hours: Mon–Fri 5pm–1am; Sat 5pm–2am


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Eastern Spice at Ku De Ta
There’s a stereotypical notion among Western bartends that Asian-centric cocktails are all about the spices, herbs, and — spiciness. And they are right. Eastern Spice ($20) focuses solely on, well, spices, and utilises the recently released (2011) Bombay Sapphire East as its foundation. Taking advantage of the gin’s two newest ingredients — lemongrass and black peppercorns — on top of its base of ten different botanicals, the flavors complements Ku De Ta’s homemade oolong tea’s top notes of pink peppercorns and

The garden of eden at CUT | Photo credit: CUT

subtle gingery warmth. The piquancy concocted is further set ablaze with chili umeshu — all shaken, strained and served in a martini glass.

Ku De Ta | Address: Skypark, Marina Bay Sands North Tower, 1 Bayfront Avenue | Tel: 6688 7688 | Opening hours: Daily noon–late

Garden of Eden at CUT
The Garden of Eden’s ($26) mango black tea infused vodka base is a fruity and floral delight. The vodka is first steeped with black tea, dried bits of mango and tropical flowers. And to offer a more rounded sweetness, homemade sugar cane syrup is used. This differentiates the drink from CUT’s five other tea-based cocktails (and the others listed in this article) that takes advantage of the natural botanicals found in liquors like rum and gin. To further its aroma, zesty oils from lemon peel and a sprig of organic miniature mint are added.

CUT| Address: #B1-71 Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Avenue | Tel: 6688 8517| Opening hours: Daily 6pm–midnight

Tea & Treats at Skyve Elementary Bistro & Bar
Revolving around two key ingredients — fruity strawberry tea and tangy Hibiscus roselle jam — and with gin and vanilla syrup thrown in, Tea & Treats ($20) might sound exuberantly saccharine on the palate. But the gin’s ethanol subdues the jam’s nectarous sweetness, and its natural botanical extracts open up the fragrances locked in the tea leaves. Vanilla syrup adds a livelier hue to the cocktail’s overall aromatic bouquet. The concoction is shaken, strained and served from a teapot, with strawberries on the side.

Skyve Elementary Bistro & Bar | Address: 10 Winstedt Road Block E, #01-17 | Tel: 6225 6690 | Opening hours: Daily 10am–midnight

The B in B at Tippling Club
Known for their molecular approach towards everything they create Tippling Club is not one to shy away from complexity; and Head Bartender, Zac de Git’s The B in B ($30) is no different. Fresh strawberries and French aperitif Lillet Blanc are compressed through a multi-vac for eight hours. Served in a Jenaer Concept Tea Glass, the richness of the aperitif and sweetness of strawberries are further exposed courtesy of the mild-bodied Gryphon Black Forest Ice Tea.

Midnight Sencha | Photo credit: Fat Cow

Tippling Club | Address: 8D Dempsy Road | Tel: 6475 2217 | Opening hours: Tue–Sat 6pm–late; Thu–Sat noon–3pm; Sun noon–3pm

The Midnight Sencha at Fat Cow
This tea-based cocktail ($26) gives the classic Whisky Sour a Japanese flavour with its inventive Nippon-esque mix. The bar’s homemade Sencha syrup (a blend of Japanese Sencha tea, wooded spice and Grand Marnier) is mixed with specially imported bitters, egg white and the aromatic and citrusy Yuzu juice. Glenmorangie 10yrs takes the base and the cocktail is garnished with Momji — a Japanese maple leaf.

Fat Cow | Address: #01-01 Camden Medical Centre, 1 Orchard Boulevard, | Tel: 6735 0308 | Opening hours: Mon–Sat 6–11pm

White Tea Martini atBarKode
If you haven’t tried tea cocktails before, the White Tea Martini ($20) makes a good start. The fragrant Earl Grey in this cocktail is evident from the get-go. But the primary tea flavor comes from the infusion between the fortified wine bouquet found in Martini Rosso and earthy notes of TWG’s white tea. Together with nuances of coriander from its Tanqueray 10 base and tangy citrus freshly squeezed from lemon and lime, this is the type of cocktail that you could go multiple rounds on.

BarKode | Address: 66 Dunlop Street | Tel: 6396 4463 | Opening hours: Tue & Thu 6pm–midnight; Wed, Fri–Sat 6pm–2am


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To view this story in pictures, go to the10 best tea-based cocktails 

 

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Entertainment writer Zul Andra has published over a hundred interviews with local and international artists in the last five years; from Carl Cox and Lamb of God to BBC TV presenter Simon Reeve. On top of covering Singapore's entertainment, art, nightlife and drinking landscape for I-S, Time Out Singapore, Nylon, The New Paper, inSing.com and Ziggy, he also maintains a column in Juice magazine. He is also a prominent blogger, on his own portal Kiss My Culture.

 

 

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