Last spring, we got our hot little hands on the new line of tea spirits from Thomas & Sons Distillery, a branch of Townshend’s Tea. Townshend's is the team behind the delicious Brew Dr. Kombucha, which you've probably already tried because it's delicious and available everywhere, and their coffee shops also offer some of my favorite reading spots around town.
Townshend's is a cornerstone of Portland beverage culture, so I'm excited to see them diving into the world of craft distilling. Their spirits feature organic tea, herbs, honey, and cane juice, and the entire line is naturally gluten-free. We've worked on various recipes with these unique liqueurs and are pleased to bring you a selection of our favorites.
The main thing to know about these spirits is that they pack a lot of flavor, so you need to be prepared for that when adding them to cocktails. If you add the smoked tea liqueur to a drink, it's going to be very smoky. Similarly, if you add the orange spice tea liqueur, it's going to be very sweet and spiced.
The Longest Day
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass over ice. Stir well and strain into an old fashioned glass. The bitter tea spirit is a complex blend of cardamom, mint, black pepper and nutmeg combine with strong black tea from the Assam region of India so you can garnish with orange or cherry if you like, or leave as is!
Dream and Sugar
Same as above except this one features the sweet tea rather than bitter! Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass over ice. Stir well and strain into an old fashioned glass. The sweet tea features Single Estate Ceylon black tea and lots of cane sugar.
The Front Porch Swing
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass over ice. Stir well and strain into an old fashioned glass, no garnish! This drink is also really good if you want to make it as a highball with lemonade. In that case just combine all over ice in a highball glass and stir, stir, stir.
The Spice is Right
If you love spiced flavors, you're going to love this drink. The chili bitters help balance out all the sweetness. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass over ice. Stir well and strain into an old fashioned glass. Townshend’s No. 16 Spice Tea is a blend of Yunnan black tea, ginger root, cassia, cinnamon, sweet orange peel, Curaçao peel, bergamot, and allspice, so an orange peel would work nicely as a garnish or, if you prefer, you can leave as is. With these wintery stirred drinks, I often go wild and skip the garnish. ; )
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