The Indian summer is a time of marriages & mayhem. The sun sizzles and burns with an intensity only matched by the blaze of the Indian wedding fever. It doesn’t matter that you aren’t the one getting married, if you know anyone, friend, cousin, husband’s friend’s cousin, no matter how remotely connected, if you’ve received an invitation card, you cannot remain unaffected.
Besides the big day itself and the traditional pre-wedding functions leading up to it, there are now a number of satellite-like bachelorette parties, theme-based cocktail evenings, champagne brunches or intimate dinners, which the couple’s close friends and relatives are expected to throw to show their love for the bride and groom. Yes, it is no longer enough to show up for everything you’ve been invited to, you must now do some inviting of your own.
If you have such a party to plan, and are looking for ideas to make it memorable, we have a suggestion – why not throw a tea party? We’ll give you a moment to process this.
So no, we don’t mean the kind of tea parties, Jane Austen’s characters got invited to, though those sound like fun if you ask us, we’re talking about a party where all the cocktails are inspired by teas and tisanes. Like the idea? Read on to see why it would be such a hit.
Nothing quiet sets the mood and gets a party going than exciting, well-made drinks. While it’s always good to be able to rustle up a couple of classics, it’s fun to surprise your guests by servinginnovative drinks with equally original names. For instance, how does a Blood Orange Sunset sound? Intriguing? It is. Made by mixing some Blood Orange tisane with gin, Cointreau and orange juice, this deep red cocktail tastes of hibiscus, rosehip and oranges, and doesn’t fail to startle and delight guests every single time. Recipe:
Teas are flavourfuland come loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and folic acid. A tea-based cocktail tends to be a healthier alternative to popular drinks like pina coladas and mojitos, which have a much higher sugar content. Take for instance, the Berry Spritzer. It blends the vitamin-packed Berries Burst Green Tea with fresh blackberries, gin and lemon juice. The colour of an amethyst, this instantly refreshing drink is a summer favourite. Recipe:
3. Great Mocktails
Teetotalers often feel a bit sidelined at a cocktail party. With the attention of the host focused on serving great cocktails, the non-alcoholic drinks tend to be uninspired and a bit boring. With tea-based cocktails, each drink is exotic even when it’s made without the alcohol. What’s more, some tea-based drink recipes don’t use any alcohol at all. Case in point, the stunningly different looking Black Tea Jelly, which uses a musky and intensely aromatic, black tea from Darjeeling to make dark jelly cubes, which then float about in a rich and chilled milky tea. Delicately flavoured with cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and ground nutmeg, this is the kind of drink teetotalers go home and tell stories about. Recipe:
Tea-based cocktails can be wonderfully seasonal.A lot of the recipes, use fresh fruits and locally available produce to create drinks that are exotic and yet easy to make. Take for example, the Mangotini. Like the sound of it already? Yes, it does have that effect. Made with a smooth and silky, fruit-flavoured black tea, combined with vodka, Grand Mariner and fresh mango pulp, this drink can be so delectable, that if there ever was a signature cocktail for the month of May, this would be it. Recipe:
5. Can be prepared in advance
When you’re deciding on the drinks’ menu for your party, you want to make sure that you can do some of the prep work beforehand. If the recipes you choose require everything to be freshly squeezed and cut, you’ll have a hard time coping when the party really gets going. With tea-based cocktails, you can brew, steep and chill the teas in advance, so that when its time to serve, you can offer glamorous looking drinks quickly and easily.
So go on, plan your big tea party. Here are some more tea-based, stylish cocktail recipes to explore. We promise you, this wedding season, you’re going to love being a teatotaler.