We had the pleasure of attending this year’s Made with Love regional event at Lansdowne’s Horticulture Building on March 20th, where we were invited to sample a plethora of delicious, unique and fanciful cocktails!
Many of them featured tea, illustrating the growing trend of tea consumption in Canada and mirroring our own interest in experimentation with tea tipples! We had a great time and will definitely be keeping an eye out for the next time Made with Love comes to town!
We’ve compiled a list of our top five cocktails of the evening and, no surprise, they all feature tea!
OTG Top 5 Cocktails
This gin-based cocktail incorporated Labrador tea, rosehip tea, and arctic blend tea, which were purchased at Market Organics. Not only was this a delicious cocktail with fresh lime overtones and a sweet finish, it also brought a fun textural component with an earthy citrus foam layer. This cocktail reminded us of a margarita with its smooth slushy texture. Definitely a drink we’ll be trying to get the next time we’re out! This cocktail gets our top vote for both flavour and using the most teas!!
This tequila-based cocktail featured a hibiscus, serrano, and jalapeno cordial. The hibiscus really gave a lovely tart contrast to the spicy notes of the peppers! This is one for the more adventurous; the slightly bitter notes of the jalapeno brought out a fullness of the tequila while the hibiscus countered the heat in a deliciously tantalizing way!
This vodka-based cocktail used coconut oolong tea that was purchased at Davids Tea, as well as pandan and lime juice. While coconut and lime are always a winning combination, the addition of the oolong brought a sweet earthiness to the cocktail that really brought all of the flavours together. This spiked bubble tea concoction would make a perfect addition to the dessert course of a meal!
4. The Forager – Simon Hodgson of Riviera (#2 Jury’s Choice)
This rum-based cocktail incorporated fermented pineapple weed tea, which was made using dried pineapple weed, honey, kaffir, juniper and licorice. The flavour combinations were paired in order to build on the natural flavours of the rum, creating a complex and flavourful cocktail. This is a cocktail perfect for sipping on a damp spring evening, the warming effect and strong flavours are the perfect accompaniment to a relaxing evening by the fire with the added brightness of the season.
5. The Melrose Spring Tea – Jeff Taylor of South Block Whiskey Bar
This bourbon-based cocktail featured osmanthus tea syrup made with osmanthus tea from the Tea Store. The strong oaky bourbon flavor matched very well with the sweet notes of strawberry, tart grapefruit, and soft peach notes of the osmanthus tea. A truly unique cocktail with a bold strong start and a delicately complex finish.
Keep an eye on the Ottawa Tea Guild events page for upcoming tea cocktail events!!