Do you love tea? How about vodka? What if we told you that you could combine the two and make your own tea-infused vodka? It's easier than you think!
It's not a novel idea to mix booze with tea. Even in colonial times, tea was added to alcoholic punches. Simply place crushed tea leaves in a vodka bottle to make tea-infused vodka. Seal the container tightly and store it in a cool, dark place.
This blog post will walk you through how to make your very own tea-infused vodka. We'll also provide a few different recipes for different types of tea so that you can find the perfect one for your taste buds. So gather up your supplies, and let's get started!
What is Infusion?
Infusion is a common cooking technique in which flavor is added to liquids by letting solids sit in them for a long time. Steeping the solids releases their aroma and flavor into the liquid, which can then be drunk or used in recipes.
Various infusions can be made, from simple syrup infused with lavender to mineral water infused with pineapple and cucumber chunks.
Some of the solids are kept as part of the presentation. In other cases, the liquids are strained, and the chunks are thrown away. In this tea-infused vodka recipe, we'll be straining out all the leaves to get a clear cup of tea.
How to Make Tea-Infused Vodka
When making a vodka infusion, use high-quality and unflavored vodka. Cheap, low-quality vodkas may contain impurities or have an off-taste that interferes with the tea's flavor.
Once you've chosen your tea leaves, it's time to start infusing your vodka! Here's what you'll need:
- 1 750mL bottle of Vodka, neutral-tasting
- 6 tsp. Black or green tea leaves
- 1 cup Simple syrup
- A clean and empty glass jar with a tight-fitting lid
- Strainer or cheesecloth
- Fill the bottle of vodka with tea leaves using a funnel. Lightly crush the leaves with a chopstick before passing them through the funnel.
- Replace the bottle cap and shake vigorously.
- Steep for 10 to 18 hours or until desired.
- Pour the infusion through a strainer or cheesecloth into an empty glass jar or bottle. Use a larger bottle if you intend to add simple syrup.
- If necessary, strain the infusion again to remove all the tea leaves.
How to Make Tea Liqueur Out of Your Vodka
Just like iced tea, you can turn tea vodka into liqueur by adding a touch of sugar. To do this, mix a small amount of simple syrup into the completed vodka infusion. You can do this right after the infusion, or you can wait until you've had a chance to taste the infusion on its own.
- Start by adding 1 tablespoon of simple syrup for every 750 ml vodka.
- Seal the bottle and shake it for about 30 seconds after adding it to the vodka.
- Taste the vodka and add another tablespoon of simple syrup if desired. Shake once more.
- Continue the process until the liqueur is to your liking.
- Store the green tea liqueur in the fridge.
Tips for Choosing Tea Leaves
Not all tea leaves are created equal, and different types of tea will impart different flavors to your vodka. If you're not sure what kind of tea to use, here are a few tips:
Unflavored or Flavored Tea
When purchasing tea leaves, you can choose between flavored and unflavored leaves. Vodkas infused with unflavored tea leaves typically have a cleaner, more mixable flavor.
If you want a subtle flavor, use white or green tea. For a bolder flavor, try black or oolong tea. If you want a fruity flavor, try using herbal teas like chamomile or hibiscus. You can also experiment with different tea blends to create unique flavors.
Look for large leaves, but let your nose do the work; a distinct smell is the best indicator of good flavor. If the leaves feel brittle and light, they may have been over-dried and will yield little flavor.
Different Types of Tea
There are many different types of tea, each one providing a unique flavor to your vodka. Here are our favorites:
Although it may be tempting to use regular tea bags of green tea for vodka, the taste may not be what you expect. Instead, choose a good green tea with loose leaves.
The location of the jasmine tea's cultivation and processing can all impact the final product's aroma and flavor. The floral sweetness of jasmine tea is a welcome contrast to the traditional bitterness of black tea.
You can detect notes of fresh snap peas and a hint of chestnut in a Dragon Well tea. It tastes smooth and toasty, with a hint of nuttiness. When prepared properly, it never becomes astringent or bitter. The flavor is lightly roasted and subtle, like a stroll through a grassy field.
Yuzu Sencha Blend (Flavored)
Yuzu Sencha Blend - Image by Mizuba Tea Co.
Yuzu is a Japanese citrus lemon prized for its aromatic rind. This grassy, vegetal, and smooth Japanese sencha tea has a hint of apricots. The yuzu's lemon-grapefruit citrus finish warmly complements the fruitiness in this blend.
Although this citron contains little liquid, its zest and juice are used in perfumes, vinegar, syrups, and as a souring ingredient that can withstand heat in cooking.
Black tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. It is the most oxidized of all the teas, which gives it a strong flavor.
Ceylon black tea is known for its robust flavor and moderate tannins, responsible for the dry feeling your tongue gets after drinking it.
Ceylon tea, with its signature citrusy freshness, captures the essence of the varied and interesting landscape in which it is grown. There is no "typical" taste to Ceylon tea. Instead, the climate and altitude at which the tea is grown determine its flavor.
Darjeeling is a variety of black tea that is less bitter and has a more pleasant flavor than other black tea. Depending on how it's brewed, Darjeeling tea can take on a golden or bronze hue and a fruity aroma. Tea connoisseurs describe it as having citrus, floral, and vegetal flavors.
It is known as the "champagne of teas" because it can only be made in the Darjeeling district in West Bengal, India. This is because, like champagne, Darjeeling tea must adhere to strict regulations regarding its cultivation and production.
This tea is used to make the popular Boba or Bubble. The flavor of Assam Black Tea is notoriously malty and robust. Its unique selling point combines well with sugar, creamer, or milk.
English Breakfast Tea
Darjeeling, Ceylon, and Kenyan black teas, as well as other black teas from India and Africa, are commonly used to make English breakfast tea blends.
The strong flavor of English breakfast tea is reminiscent of roasted coffee. The black tea has a robust body with notes of maltiness, bitterness, and a touch of sweetness. It tastes like a cross between masala chai and coffee.
One of the most well-known flavored teas is Earl Grey. Black tea is the traditional base for this quintessentially British beverage, and the oil extracted from the rind of the bergamot orange—a citrus fruit with characteristics resembling those of an orange, lemon, grapefruit, and lime—provides the distinctive flavor.
How to Enjoy Vodka with Tea Infusion
The subtle flavors of tea in a vodka infusion make it surprisingly versatile and a nice addition to many different drinks. Here are a few ideas on how you can enjoy your tea-infused vodka:
Drink As Is
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Just sip the tea-infused vodka slowly. You can serve it on the rocks or neat depending on your preference.
Sweet Tea Lemonade
Tea-infused vodka also makes a great base for cocktails. Get creative and mix it with some of your favorite fruits, juices, and herbs!
For a refreshing Sweet Tea-Lemonade, combine two ounces of tea vodka, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Served in a tall glass with ice and topped with sparkling water.
Green Tea Vodka Tonic
Green Tea Vodka Tonic is a fantastic after-dinner drink. It also serves as a good palate cleanser between courses.
Using tea-infused vodka in a basic Vodka Martini recipe is the simplest way to make a great "Green Tea Martini." You'll find it refreshing and smooth, with a slightly grassy flavor from the tea.
Try out this hot toddy recipe if you're looking for a warming drink to enjoy on a cold night. You'll need tea-infused vodka, lemon juice, honey, and hot water. Simply combine all of the ingredients in a mug and enjoy!
Mix With Fruits
Tea-infused vodka goes well with other vodka cocktails with a light flavor profile, such as those with lemonade, citrus fruits, and sodas. Fruits and other ingredients with a stronger taste will drown out the tea, making it difficult to recognize.
Substitute For Other Tea Infuse Spirits
You can use tea-infused vodka instead of other spirits like gin or rum in any cocktail recipe. Keep in mind that the vodka will add a slightly different flavor profile to the drink, so it may not taste exactly like the original.
If you're feeling creative, try coming up with your tea-infused vodka cocktail recipes! You can experiment with different types of tea, fruit juices, and herbs to create unique flavor combinations. There are endless possibilities for enjoying tea-infused vodka, so get out there and mix up some delicious drinks.
Do you have a favorite recipe for tea-infused vodka? We'd love to hear about it in the comments below!