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The Squeaky Bean
The Squeaky Bean
Photo: Adam Larkey

From Williams & Graham to Acorn: These Are Ten Cocktails Highlighting Tea

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The Squeaky Bean
| Photo: Adam Larkey

In this craft cocktail era, imbibers are being reintroduced to various ingredients—from Chartreuse to flavored bitters—and everything that's old is new again. But sometimes it just takes the addition of a familiar ingredient to establish a trend, like tea. Lately various establishments are using tea to put a new twist on their cocktail menus.

But there is a logical explanation for the aromatic addition, according to bar manager Kevin Burke of Ste. Ellie and Colt & Gray. "Tea was used in classic punches to create length and dilution. They also impart tannin and structure, complementing aged spirits and citrus components." To try out the trend for yourself, here are 10 examples of tea cocktails in Denver and Boulder.


— By Ashley Hughes

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Williams & Graham

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LoHi speakeasy Williams & Graham is known for turning out the classics, in addition to unique creations of its own. One of those is the Dorchester Tea, a mix of Spring 44 Old Tom gin, Pierre Ferrand dry curacao, honey syrup and citrus spice tea. The name brings to mind The Dorchester hotel in London, one of the most famous places for afternoon tea.
Local tea company Teatulia is front and center for Linger’s White Tea Punch. Eight ounces of strongly brewed white tea is combined with lemon juice, simple syrup, Leopold’s peach liqueur, St. Germain, Boca Loca cachaca, cava and Angostura bitters, all served in a punch bowl.

Ste. Ellie

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Get a group together to try the Parisian Punch at Ste. Ellie, the subterranean lounge beneath Colt & Gray. The punch, which serves four or eight people, contains Plantation 5-year Barbados rum, Pierre Ferrand 1840 cognac, lemon and oleo saccharum, and African rooibos and chai tea.

The Squeaky Bean

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The Squeaky Bean offers a few iterations of tea-infused drinks. Quirky cocktail menu category “The Lawrence Welk Show”: Fizzy Drinks features My Little Mule, Pepe, with Proximus tequila, house lemongrass liqueur made from Teatulia’s lemongrass tea, lime, lemon verbena and ginger beer. There’s also the most popular “crocktail” (a warm cocktail made in a Crock-Pot), the Dread Pirate Roberts. In this you’ll find Batavia arrack, yerba mate, vanilla, apple and lemon. Though come warmer weather, the crocktails will likely give way to boozy snow cones.

TAG Raw Bar

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At TAG Raw Bar you’ll find a cocktail called the Brightonwood, which uses green tea combined with Death’s Door Gin, muddled apple, mint, ginger and sparkling apple cider. The drink is named after a famous Wisconsin apple orchard not too far from Death’s Door Spirits.

Russell's Smokehouse

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Iced tea makes an appearance in the Wheelhouse cocktail at Russell’s Smokehouse, chef and restaurateur Frank Bonanno’s house of barbecue. The Southern beverage staple is paired with Wild Turkey Spiced bourbon, Leopold Bros. American Orange liqueur and honey to form one of the house cocktails.

Parallel Seventeen

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Here the house favorite cocktail, called the Uptown, is made from a house-infused chamomile tea whiskey mixed with sweet vermouth, and served straight up with a maraschino cherry. Throughout February the Asian eatery has also featured a drink called the Earl of P17, a mix of house-infused vodka, housemade Earl Grey simple syrup and a splash of milk, garnished with an orange peel.
For those looking to sample a tea cocktail without the alcohol, Acorn offers a virgin take on the trend. The Tea Time incorporates green tea, lavender syrup, ginger beer (nonalcoholic), lemon juice and grapefruit bitters. All of this is shaken, and served in a chilled cocktail glass with a grapefruit disc garnish.

The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse

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Afternoon tea can turn into happy hour here, where tea is the main draw. The teahouse was built with the help of artisans from Tajikistan, where Dushanbe—a sister city of Boulder—is located. Afternoon cocktails include the Sparkling Hibiscus, which combines Segura Viudas cava and hibiscus tea, and the Boulder Tangerine Bourbon Sour, made with Maker’s Mark, Boulder tangerine tea and sour mix.

Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar

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Tea makes an appearance across the menus of Jax Fish House’s various locations. In Boulder, check out the Mean Green cocktail, a mix of CapRock gin, green tea syrup, lemon and soda. The ahi poke appetizer in Fort Collins has black sesame seed, cherry tomato, cucumber, green tea sushi rice and nam pla. And Denver’s location serves a cocktail called the West Garden, which includes green tea-infused vodka, agave, soda and lemon.

Williams & Graham

LoHi speakeasy Williams & Graham is known for turning out the classics, in addition to unique creations of its own. One of those is the Dorchester Tea, a mix of Spring 44 Old Tom gin, Pierre Ferrand dry curacao, honey syrup and citrus spice tea. The name brings to mind The Dorchester hotel in London, one of the most famous places for afternoon tea.

Linger

Local tea company Teatulia is front and center for Linger’s White Tea Punch. Eight ounces of strongly brewed white tea is combined with lemon juice, simple syrup, Leopold’s peach liqueur, St. Germain, Boca Loca cachaca, cava and Angostura bitters, all served in a punch bowl.

Ste. Ellie

Get a group together to try the Parisian Punch at Ste. Ellie, the subterranean lounge beneath Colt & Gray. The punch, which serves four or eight people, contains Plantation 5-year Barbados rum, Pierre Ferrand 1840 cognac, lemon and oleo saccharum, and African rooibos and chai tea.

The Squeaky Bean

The Squeaky Bean offers a few iterations of tea-infused drinks. Quirky cocktail menu category “The Lawrence Welk Show”: Fizzy Drinks features My Little Mule, Pepe, with Proximus tequila, house lemongrass liqueur made from Teatulia’s lemongrass tea, lime, lemon verbena and ginger beer. There’s also the most popular “crocktail” (a warm cocktail made in a Crock-Pot), the Dread Pirate Roberts. In this you’ll find Batavia arrack, yerba mate, vanilla, apple and lemon. Though come warmer weather, the crocktails will likely give way to boozy snow cones.

TAG Raw Bar

At TAG Raw Bar you’ll find a cocktail called the Brightonwood, which uses green tea combined with Death’s Door Gin, muddled apple, mint, ginger and sparkling apple cider. The drink is named after a famous Wisconsin apple orchard not too far from Death’s Door Spirits.

Russell's Smokehouse

Iced tea makes an appearance in the Wheelhouse cocktail at Russell’s Smokehouse, chef and restaurateur Frank Bonanno’s house of barbecue. The Southern beverage staple is paired with Wild Turkey Spiced bourbon, Leopold Bros. American Orange liqueur and honey to form one of the house cocktails.

Parallel Seventeen

Here the house favorite cocktail, called the Uptown, is made from a house-infused chamomile tea whiskey mixed with sweet vermouth, and served straight up with a maraschino cherry. Throughout February the Asian eatery has also featured a drink called the Earl of P17, a mix of house-infused vodka, housemade Earl Grey simple syrup and a splash of milk, garnished with an orange peel.

Acorn

For those looking to sample a tea cocktail without the alcohol, Acorn offers a virgin take on the trend. The Tea Time incorporates green tea, lavender syrup, ginger beer (nonalcoholic), lemon juice and grapefruit bitters. All of this is shaken, and served in a chilled cocktail glass with a grapefruit disc garnish.

The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse

Afternoon tea can turn into happy hour here, where tea is the main draw. The teahouse was built with the help of artisans from Tajikistan, where Dushanbe—a sister city of Boulder—is located. Afternoon cocktails include the Sparkling Hibiscus, which combines Segura Viudas cava and hibiscus tea, and the Boulder Tangerine Bourbon Sour, made with Maker’s Mark, Boulder tangerine tea and sour mix.

Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar

Tea makes an appearance across the menus of Jax Fish House’s various locations. In Boulder, check out the Mean Green cocktail, a mix of CapRock gin, green tea syrup, lemon and soda. The ahi poke appetizer in Fort Collins has black sesame seed, cherry tomato, cucumber, green tea sushi rice and nam pla. And Denver’s location serves a cocktail called the West Garden, which includes green tea-infused vodka, agave, soda and lemon.

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