“I’m a tea guy,” says Chris Cason at the recent Coffee and Tea Festival in New York City. But for this demonstration, the Tavalon’s Tea Sommelier and co-founder puts down his teacup and picks up a cocktail shaker. Over the years, he has experimented with different concoctions and sought out advice from bartenders to come up with a variety of tea cocktail recipes, which he shares on the Tavalon blog.

Not surprisingly, his tea cocktail demonstrations continue to grow in popularity. Tea cocktails can excite the lay tea drinker (as well as cocktail drinkers of all levels) about the depth of possibilities hidden in the leaves. Cason emphasizes using tea as a core component of a cocktail, not just a novelty ingredient. 

Tea cocktails are enjoying renewed popularity, but they likely first originated in 18th century Scotland with the Hot Toddy. Full of the sharpening powers of caffeine, calming properties of L-theanine and cleansing antioxidants, tea offers a “slightly less guilty pleasure” for your next drink.