The words "iced tea cocktail" used to mean one thing: The notorious, ever-maligned Long Island Iced Tea. Not anymore. Bartenders are taking tea in exciting new directions, from a cocktail made with tea-infused gin to a revitalizing drink infused with oothu white tea pilsner syrup. Here are eight boozy iced tea drinks we're teeing up right now.
Park G&T at The Living Room, New York City
The Living Room on the third floor of the Park Hyatt New York serves up a new gin and tonic each season. This spring’s iteration of the Park G&T features gin infused with upayatea (a blend of raspberry leaves, organic beetroot, ginger, orange peels and raspberries), demerara simple syrup, lime juice, a few dashes of bitters and a splash of tonic. Sip it while you look out for celeb sightings: The hotel's recent guests have included Miley Cyrus, Reese Witherspoon and John Travolta. Photo by Katie Burton.
Regent Punch at Punch House, Chicago
Tucked away in the basement of the historic Thalia Hall in Pilsen, this maritime-inspired bar offers bites by Michelin-starred chef Jared Wentworth (Dusek’s Board & Beer, Longman & Eagle, The Promontory) and cocktails like the Regent Punch. In this must-try drink, green tea gets spiked with cognac, Jamaican rum and Champagne, and brightened by marinated pineapple, maraschino and fresh orange. And you’re probably doing something right when Bono hits up your bar for drinks: The U2 frontman has been known to stop in at Punch House when he's in Chicago. Photo courtesy of Punch House.
Rhubarb Spiked Tea, SideBar at The Westin at The Woodlands, Houston
SideBar's Rhubarb Spiked Tea gets its punch from citron vodka mixed with boozy rhubarb tea liqueur, plus fresh lemon juice and house black pepper honey syrup. And since the posh hotel is just steps from the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion concert amphitheatre, you never know which A-list musician you might run into. Photo courtesy of SideBar.
Biggie and Tupac at Trick Dog, San Francisco
It's hard not to order a cocktail named the Biggie and Tupac, but the drink is ingenious even without the name. Served at Trick Dog in San Francisco’s Mission District, it's made with tequila reposado, sherry, blanc vermouth, meyer lemon and honey, and mellowed with jasmine-sage tea. Photo courtesy of Trick Dog.
Sweet Lime Stumbles at The Hazel Room, Portland, OR
You can get your tea by the pot at Portland's cozy teahouse, The Hazel Room, but we recommend you order yours loaded. The Sweet Lime Stumbles is the cocktail you want; it's a blend of vodka, lime juice, lemon juice, agave syrup and darjeeling iced tea. Photo courtesy of The Hazel Room.
Fujian Cure at Lukshon, Los Angeles
At L.A.’s Lukshon, the creative spins on Southeast Asian cuisine extend to the drinks too. The Fujian Cure is the cocktail to try here: It combines smoky Lapsang Souchong tea, galangal (Siamese ginger) and 8-year scotch for a smooth sip that goes down easy. Photo courtesy of Lukshon.
Gonzo Swizzle at Kat & Theo, New York City
Chef Paras Shah has worked at Spain’s El Bulli and Manhattan's Per Se and Momofuku Noodle Bar, and now he's heading up the modern American menu at Kat & Theo. Pair his food with vibrant cocktails like the Gonzo Swizzle, made with spicy Old Tom gin infused with long peppers, Pimm's No. 1, plum gin liqueur, housemade grenadine, grapefruit bitters and Montagne Bleue syrup (a blend of Earl grey teas, cornflower petals, lavender and dried blueberries). Photo courtesy of Kat & Theo.
Connor at Maggies at Vox Table, Austin
At Austin's Vox Table, there's no better way to chill out than with the invigorating craft cocktail know as the Connor. In this unusual and deeply refreshing drink, Irish whiskey meets oothu white tea pilsner syrup, lemon juice, hopped grapefruit bitters, and a splash of pilsner beer. Photo courtesy of Vox Table.
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