6 Year of the Dragon-inspired sparkling tea cocktails you can make at home this Lunar New Year

Plenty of eating and drinking takes place throughout the two-week-long Lunar New Year holiday. Tea – copious amounts of it – is what is typically drunk during the many festive gatherings, but those looking to mix things up a bit might want to try sparkling tea cocktails.

To that end, Charlie Winkworth-Smith and Natalie Chiu, co-founders of sparkling tea brand Saicho, have worked with Noah Villeneuve, a low- and no-alcohol drinks specialist in the UK, to create a series of Lunar New Year-inspired cocktails.

“After talking and working with numerous talented mixologists, we have learnt that [sparkling tea] makes an innovative and versatile ingredient for cocktails,” Winkworth-Smith says.

Chiu adds that sparkling tea cocktails create more options for food pairing.

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“When looking for inspiration for hosting gatherings at home, we know our consumers and want to surprise and delight their guests with something new and creative.

“This range of cocktails is a great way to add something new and be the host everyone talks about this season.”

Try your hand at these six Year of the Dragon-inspired tea cocktails from Saicho.

1. Fortuned Fashioned

The Fortune Fashioned is a tea-based take on an Old Fashioned. Photo: Saicho

5ml apricot syrup

75ml Saicho Darjeeling

50ml whisky (or non-alcoholic whisky)

2 dashes aromatic orange bitters

Add the apricot syrup directly into a tumbler, then follow with the whisky, orange bitters and Saicho Darjeeling. Stir until the liquids are combined and add a large ice cube (or a handful of smaller ones) to fill the tumbler glass.

2. Bittersweet Beginnings

For a lighter take on a Negroni, try the Bittersweet Beginnings. Photo: Saicho

50ml Saicho Darjeeling

25ml bourbon whisky

15ml Campari

10ml dry vermouth

10ml sweet vermouth

Add all the ingredients into a stirring glass or Boston shaker, fill with ice and stir for 15-20 seconds, then strain into a chilled coupe glass and drop a cherry in for the final touch.

3. Lychee Lantern

The Lychee Lantern is a vegan-friendly cocktail that uses aquafaba to create a creamy texture. Photo: Saicho

75ml Saicho Jasmine

50ml white rum (or non-alcoholic white rum)

20ml lychee juice

10ml agave syrup

15ml apple cider vinegar

25ml aquafaba

Add all of the ingredients except the Saicho Jasmine into a Boston shaker, fill with cubed ice and shake as hard as you can for 10 seconds. This will activate the aquafaba and create a nice foamy texture and head on the drink.

Add the Saicho Jasmine and use a Hawthorne strainer on the shaker, and a fine strainer in your other hand, to strain into a chilled coupe glass to finish the cocktail.

4. Pearls of Wisdom

The Pearls of Wisdom has heat by way of tequila blanco and ginger syrup. Photo: Saicho

75ml Saicho Jasmine

35ml blanco tequila

15ml crème de cassis

15ml lime juice

10ml ginger syrup

Add all the ingredients except the Saicho Jasmine into a Boston shaker, fill it with ice and shake until it is cold to the touch. Add in the Saicho Jasmine. Fill a highball glass with cubed ice and then strain the cocktail over.

5. Sesame 75

The Sesame 75 is a distinctly Asian take on the French 75, using sparkling tea as a base. Photo: Saicho

10ml apple cider vinegar

10ml apple juice

10ml ginger syrup

75ml Saicho Hojicha

1 splash sesame oil

In a chilled flute, combine the apple cider vinegar, apple juice, ginger syrup and Saicho Hojicha and gently stir, being careful not to agitate the cocktail too much and create too much fizz.

Once mixed, delicately drop a splash of sesame oil directly from the bottle to sit on top of the liquid. You can also use a teaspoon to drop this in.

6. Saicho Sherry Sling

The Sherry Sling is a take on the Singapore classic. Photo: Saicho

75ml Saicho Hojicha

5ml peated whisky

35ml Manzanilla sherry

10ml hazelnut syrup

15ml lemon juice

Add sherry, syrup, whisky and lemon juice to a wine glass and give a quick stir to combine. Add cubed ice to the top of the glass, top with Saicho Hojicha, and stir again to combine. Garnish with a lemon slice and edible flowers.


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