Le Palais des Thés Cocktails for Spring

I love the idea of using tea as an ingredient in cocktails. First off, you have the ability to create gallons of mixes, straight out of your cabinet. Secondly, the antioxidants and subtle flavoring make for really nice combinations. As a bonus, the teas from Le Palais des Thés come beautifully packaged, and would be a standout presence on your bar or table. The company Le Palais des Thés began life with fifty tea enthusiasts wanting to guarantee the freshness and quality of their teas. They make regular visits to their tea estates to maintain local farming methods and to appreciate the rich cultures surrounding them. While traveling the world in search of rare teas, they discovered the leaves for making Fleur de Geisha in Japan, a refined green tea flavored with cherry blossoms, and Thé du Hammam in China, a green tea flavored with berries, rose, orange flower and green dates. Both these teas have a delicate balance of fruitiness, and work well in a cocktail. Important note: when brewing the teas, do not let the water come to a boil, as it will create a bitter tasting tea. If you are a tea enthusiast, I highly recommend purchasing Cuisinart’s temperature controlled tea kettle. Otherwise, keep an eye on your pot. When bubbles just start to form at the edges, remove from heat and prepare your brew. Photo above: the Fleur de Geisha cocktail, below: Champagne with Thé du Hammam

Fleur de Geisha Cocktail
This tea was inspired by the Japanese Hanami tradition of viewing cherry trees in bloom. Sho Chiku Bai Ginjo Sake was used to make this cocktail, but you can substitute any other that is meant to be chilled, with a fruity smooth taste. The bottle does have the cuteness factor. 
About 5 servings
4 rounded tsp (or 4 tea bags) Le Palais des Thés “Fleur de Geisha” tea
12 oz spring water
2.5 oz sake
2.5 oz pink grapefruit juice
3½ TB cane sugar
1.5 oz Triple Sec
pinch of ground ginger
Infuse the tea in the simmered water for 3 minutes. Filter the leaves, let cool, then chill in the refrigerator for a half hour. When the tea is chilled, place into a cocktail shaker along with the sake, pink grapefruit juice and cane sugar. Shake. Add Triple Sec and a few ice cubes. Shake vigorously until the outside of the cocktail shaker appears wet. Garnish each glass with a tiny pinch of ground ginger and serve immediately.

Champagne with Thé du Hammam
The flavors in this tea evoke the characteristic fragrances used in a hammam.
About 5 flutes
3 rounded tsp (or 3 tea bags) Le Palais des Thés “Thé du Hammam”tea
10 oz spring water
10 oz Champagne
2 TB  peach liqueur
Infuse the tea in the simmered water for 3 minutes. Filter the leaves, let tea cool, then chill in the refrigerator for a half hour. Put chilled tea and peach liqueur in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Pour into flutes about half way, and top off with well-chilled Champagne.

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