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Drink Me, I’m Irish: Irish Tea Cocktails For St. Patrick’s Day

March 9, 2017

St. Patrick’s Day is Friday, March 17, and with it comes the chance to celebrate all things Irish. Like its European neighbor England, Ireland is a country of tea drinkers. So in addition to wearing green, drinking booze, and praising St. Patrick for chasing the snakes out of Ireland, be sure to carve out some time to enjoy a cup of Irish breakfast tea.

But what exactly is Irish breakfast tea?

As explained by Kitchn, Irish breakfast tea is a black tea that boasts a malty flavor. It is stronger than English breakfast tea, but weaker than Scottish breakfast tea. The tea in a cup of Irish breakfast tea originally hailed from Assam, India, where the East India Company operated tea plantations before shipping the product back to an insatiable public. Strong Irish, English, and Scottish black teas went perfectly with a hearty breakfast, giving the tea its name.

A plain cup of Irish breakfast tea is a simple pleasure all on its own, but this St. Patrick’s day, try combining Irish tea with another staple of the Irish culinary world: alcohol.

If you’re hosting a St. Patrick’s Day, consider making a signature cocktail with Irish breakfast tea as a starring ingredient, or treat yourself to a fancy concoction while you watch the St. Patrick’s Day parade solo on TV.

Here are five scrumptious cocktail recipes that use Irish breakfast tea to get the party started:

1) Apricot & Black Tea Irish Whiskey Cocktail

Apricot & Black Tea Irish Whiskey Cocktail

Apricot and black tea blend for an appetite-whetting whiskey cocktail in this recipe from Holly & Flora. Start by making a black tea simple syrup from water, cane sugar, and Irish breakfast tea. Add the simple syrup to an ice-filled glass along with whiskey, apricot liquer, lemon juice, and bitters. Shake, strain, and add a dash of soda water to finish the drink off.

2) The Tullamore D.E.W. Elevenses

The Tullamore D.E.W. Elevenses

This recipe from triple distilled and triple blended Irish whiskey Tullamore D.E.W. mixes 3 parts Tullamore D.E.W. with 1 part lemon juice, 2.5 parts Irish breakfast tea, and 2 spoons of raspberry preserves. Shake and serve over ice, with a lemon twist for a classy garnish.

3) Blood Orange, Tea, & Whiskey Cocktail

Blood Orange, Tea, & Whiskey Cocktail

This recipe from Healthy Delicious recipe developer Lauren Keating starts by steeping Irish breakfast tea bags in whiskey. Add the whiskey tea to blood orange juice, lemon juice, and honey in a shaker, and give it a good shake. Strain and pour over ice. Add a splash of club soda and garnish with mint if desired.

4) Irish Hot Toddy

Irish Hot Toddy

This recipe from Chrystal Mahan is perfect if you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in a cold climate. Begin by brewing Irish breakfast tea. Add whiskey, honey, and lemon, then garnish with a lemon slice, and you’re well on your way to warming up.

5) Spiced 46 Martini

Spiced 46 Martini

This martini recipe from The Restaurants of Neiman Marcus begins with Spiced Iced Tea made from Irish breakfast tea bags, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, Tang, and almond extract. For grown-up fun, add Maker’s 46 (bourbon handmade whiskey from Maker’s Mark) as well as mint, peach puree, and lemon juice.