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Tea mocktails are a healthy nonalcoholic beverage and a satisfying sober alternative to the inebriating effects of alcohol. As there are so many different types of tea - white, green, yellow, oolong, black and pu-erh as well as a multitude of blends using herbs, spices and flowers, tea and tisanes provide a charming versatility. Tea can be enjoyed as part of a daily ritual or in a social setting to foster connections without the need for alcohol. It brings comfort, a sense of calm and also euphoria without having the disinhibition and impaired judgment that excessive alcohol consumption might cause.
Tea polyphenols have such a myriad of amazing health benefits. In addition to being potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant molecules, they may improve cardiovascular, brain, gut, skin, dental and oral health. Theanine, which is a compound uniquely found in tea and two types of mushrooms, is also extremely helpful in reducing acute anxiety and bringing calm. So when you are in the midst of a crowd of people and you feel a bit intimidated, reach out and relax with tea. It will bring you to a state of focussed calm so that you are able to feel relaxed but also be able to concentrate. What I love about drinking tea by itself or as part of a nonalcoholic beverage is that it really helps me loosen up, feel chill and confident without causing awkward moments, impaired judgment and the slippery slope that drinking alcohol can often lead to.
Infuse adaptogens like turmeric, holy basil and ashwagandha in your tea for the extra boost if you might need. Unsweetened teas make delicious zero calorie drinks that can be extremely aromatic and flavorful. You can serve them hot or stir up an iced tea mocktail based on the season and the weather outside! Tea infused beverages will help keep you hydrated without the headache and bodyache and other hangover symptoms that you feel the next day after a night of binge drinking. Just a small tip from us - if you are drinking a tea infused beverage later in the afternoon or evening we would recommend choosing a caffeine free herbal tisanes otherwise, you might be up all night! We hope you have a chance to enjoy the restorative wellness of teas and we assure you, once you have tried them you will be definitely hooked!
With the dangerous effects of alcohol, many are gravitating to nonalcoholic beverages like tea mocktails, even in a social setting to enjoy the company of others in a sober and relaxed environment. Some sobering tea options include:
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Chai: Chai (Tea) has been a social drink for many decades in the Indian household. Guests are welcomed with a cup of chai and it is often served as an aperitif after a meal in social gatherings. Great for digestion and also as a relaxing tea, chai is loved by most who try it. Iced chai is perfect for a summer drink while a hot cup for chai is a comforting elixir in fall and the colder winter months.
Iced Teas: Chilled iced teas are a fun drink for a porch party in the summer. Steep your favorite tea (caffeinated or herbal) and chill it. Add a touch of sweetener if desired, serve it over ice and garnish with a slice of lemon and mint. If you don’t want to use artificial sweeteners or flavoring but are looking for a refreshing twist, add sliced fruits like lime, berries, oranges or peaches while steeping.
Non-alcoholic Tea Mocktails Infused with H&K Tea: Teas and tisanes have a wonderful mouthfeel and can replace alcohol as a base to create a delicious sober tea beverage. Get creative with experimenting with different types of teas, herbs, spices, flowers, fruit and fruit juices. Add soda or tonic water if you enjoy a fizzy drink. Here is a unique recipe to share that is just a delicious nonalcoholic tea based mocktail created for us using Herbs & Kettles Assam Smoked Melody by world famous mixologist Tiffanie Barriere, that we hope you will enjoy!
By Mixologist Tiffanie Barriere
5 oz. H&K Assam Smoked Melody
3/4 oz. Pineapple Ginger Syrup
2 dashes Aromatic Bitters
In a large mixing glass stir cold for 30 seconds. Strain over a large rock in a rocks glass. Garnish with lemon swath.
To prepare H & K Assam Smoked Melody Cold Brew: Take 3 g of Assam Smoked Melody, add a small amount of hot water just enough to cover the tea leaves to ensure food safety, and then add 2 cups (480 ml ) of water at room temperature. Chill in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours and then strain and decant into a new container.
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Tea Infused Punch: Tea punch is a perfect drink that is easy to throw together in a pitcher or large bowl and an instant crowd pleaser. Did you know that the origins can be traced to India and the word punch comes from “Panch” which means five in Hindi for the five ingredients alcohol, water, sugar, lemon or lime juice and spices. The tea drink was then introduced to England in the 17rh century by employees of the East India company. Consider changing out the high ABV (alcohol by volume) alcohol in punch for tea with or without a low ABV alcohol option for a similar mouthfeel.
Hot Toddy: The word toddy also has its origins in India and comes from toddy which is a fermented drink made from palm sap. The British added spices to liquor and recreated the flavors of toddy. It is now a famous Irish and Scottish drink known as a hug in a cup with liquor like whisky, water, honey, lemon, herbs and spices and served hot although iced versions can also be made. We suggest that instead of whisky try our Kashmiri Kahwa if you want a green tea mocktail, or fruity tea mocktails, or our Assam Special Reserve if you are looking for a black tea mocktail hot or iced toddy.
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We encourage you to find your own tea ritual with teas you enjoy drinking. Be inquisitive and experimental with your selection of teas and try single origin, high quality loose leaf teas from different farmers from the varied tea growing regions of the world. Maybe selecting special teaware, learning western and gongfu steeping techniques will help develop a personalized tea ritual to find moments of tranquility. Create a cozy corner at home or a peaceful outdoor setting for your tea routine. This could also be a way to build community, have friends and family over to share a cup of tea and have interesting discussions.
In Atlanta, we have a few friends who are into single origin, single batch directly sourced premium teas as we are, and we have created a tea club where we will gather at our place. Everyone will bring a tea to share, maybe a special steeping vessel or teapot and we will have wonderful conversations over cups of tea, laugh, enjoy community and sometimes often get blissfully tea drunk!
In summary, tea with its relaxation, health benefits, aromas, mouthfeel and flavors is an excellent sober tea alternative to alcohol. We encourage you to enjoy the versatility and richness of a good ol’ cup of tea! Enjoy the riches offered wild the world of tea as you embrace this drink of comfort and joy. Let's raise a teacup to the journey of savoring tea and the moments of connection, wellness, and celebration it can bring.