Spiked iced tea is the theme for many flavorful cocktails. These delightful drinks are the perfect way to combine cocktail hour with tea time, offering a refreshing beverage on hot days. From boozy sweet teas to fancy little tea martinis, you'll have a ton of fun exploring these recipes throughout the summer.
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There's something irresistible about iced tea and lemonade in one glass. While the nonalcoholic version is immensely popular, it's just as easy to make a spiked Arnold Palmer. The recipe walks you through the steps of making enough fresh-squeezed lemonade for a round of drinks. Once that's well-chilled, mix it with your favorite iced tea and add a shot of vodka (rum, tequila, and whiskey work, too).
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Sweet tea is a favorite summertime drink, and it gets better when you add a shot of liquor to the mix. The "sweet" can come from various sources, including sweet liqueurs and unique flavored syrups.
This simple bourbon tea recipe uses limoncello as the sweetener. While often reserved for sipping chilled or fancy cocktails, the luscious lemon liqueur does wonders in a simple, refreshing drink like this.
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When you want a fruity sweet tea, the summer peach tea is a great recipe, and there's no need to hassle with fruit (unless you want to, of course). For this one, you'll pour a shot of Canadian whisky over ice, then one of peach liqueur for a sweet, fruity touch. Top it with iced tea and garnishes, and a relaxing drink is ready to enjoy.
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Similarly, the mango iced tea cocktail uses Canadian whisky. These blended whiskeys are known for their smooth, often softer, taste that won't overpower the cocktail. This recipe is flavored with mango rum, and most are slightly sweetened but not as much as liqueurs. The drink has a nice balance of flavor and can quickly become a new favorite.
Switch up Your Tea
The beauty of tea cocktails is that you can customize the taste by choosing a different type of tea. Perhaps you enjoy a particular black or green tea, or maybe lavender or lemongrass tisanes are your guilty pleasures. Feel free to experiment with any drink recipe. Granted, not all teas will work in every drink, but, for the most part, the choice of tea is open to interpretation.Continue to 5 of 15 below.
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Try adding a little gin to your sweet tea. The spirit's botanicals are a perfect complement for a British favorite like Earl Grey, and this royal-tea cocktail recipe is a quick twist on afternoon tea.
To keep it genuine, choose a top-shelf London dry gin. Add a splash of lemon and a hint of sugar, and you'll have a tall, refreshing glass of iced tea. It's also very easy to make by the pitcher for an intimate party.
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Cognac is a fantastic pairing with green tea, and the duo is showcased in the ginger tea recipe. The drink starts by muddling plain simple syrup with fresh ginger and mint for a nice flavor boost. If you really like the combination, infuse your simple syrup with mint and ginger to save time or preserve the fresh taste.
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There's also no reason to stick with a tea straight from the bag. A recipe like this Kentucky tea asks you to build on the flavors of a mint tea during the infusion. By adding lemon and eucalyptus, you can easily put a cooling spin on a bourbon-spiked sweet tea. Once the tea is brewed and chilled, the cocktail is as simple as a shot of bourbon and a little extra lemon.
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When you're ready for an iced tea cocktail that is anything but ordinary, the Irish tea party is a fun one to mix up. Irish whiskey and absinthe create quite the spectacle in this iced green tea cocktail. The absinthe isn't strong, though; it's used as a rinse to coat the glass with its bold anise flavor. It's actually a perfect complement to the whiskey and tea, and the finished cocktail is surprisingly light.Continue to 9 of 15 below.
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The Jalisco high tea offers a taste of tea and tequila. The recipe opts for the light aging of reposado tequila, and the tea of choice is lemon verbena, which has a nice herbal-citrus zing. The sweetener is two-fold: a little simple syrup and a splash of Cherry Heering. The result is a delightful summer sipper.
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The martini family of drinks is the perfect foundation for a spot of tea. The easiest among them is the aptly named tea tini. It's really nothing more than shaken vodka, tea, and lemon juice served in a cocktail glass. Yet, the style of drink adds to its appeal, and the simplicity begs for it to be altered to suit your taste.
Hot Brew, Then Chill
To maximize the flavor of your tea drinks, use the traditional hot brewing method. Also, follow the tea's recommended brewing time and temperature, and you'll get a perfect brew for mixing. The quickest way to chill brewed tea is to place it in the freezer for a few minutes. You can also set a tea-filled container in an ice bath or stick it in the fridge if you have a couple of hours to spare.
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You'll need to hunt down a very specific tea for this fancy little drink, but it's a fun twist for the holiday-worthy recipe. The mistletoe martini requires a cranberry tea and you should be able to find at least one option at stores that stock a variety of teas. Add to that your favorite vodka and a little lemon and orange juice and it's done.
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There are very few tea-flavored distilled spirits available. While they're nice to explore when you find them, it's actually effortless to create your own tea-infused liquors. Simply place tea bags in the alcohol and allow it to steep until it reaches your preferred taste (usually, just a couple of hours). As inspiration, give this summer royale tea-infused rum a try in the mad hatter tea party cocktail.Continue to 13 of 15 below.
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Gin is another fantastic base for a little tea flavoring, and the gunpowder gimlet cocktail thrives on its unique homemade infusion. The recipe pairs green tea-infused gin with homemade salted pistachio honey syrup. Both ingredients take only a couple of hours, so you can prep them in the morning, and they'll be ready for mixing by the afternoon.
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Thai iced tea is a spiced mix of milky black tea that is a pure joy to drink. When you want to give it a little kick, add rum and Irish cream. The spiked Thai iced tea is very close to the original, featuring a spice-infused combination of Irish cream, coconut milk, and sweetened condensed milk. That's added to an ice-filled glass with a shot of aged rum and strong black tea to create an equally unforgettable drink.
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Designed specifically for autumn, this Thanksgiving sangria is filled with seasonal flavors. It's a multi-dimensional punch that combines brandy, gin, and dry white wine with chilled green tea and pomegranate juice. Fresh fruits and cinnamon add to its complex flavor. While it's best when chilled overnight, it all comes together quickly.