View Full Version : Alcohol in tea?

02-04-2001, 05:57 AM
Hello all:

As a new tea drinker, I have really enjoyed making and drinking loose leaf teas! At work, I enjoy brewing a pot in my new kettle. The first day I was selfish and drank it all myself. But, the second day, I shared with my office friends. They are mostly coffee drinkers (I rarely drink coffee) and think of tea as a much milder substitute. They need the punch of coffee to get their day going. I prefer the relaxed nature of tea.

This weekend I treated my family to some tea. They enjoyed it after dinner and again before bed. They are used to Sanka and Lipton and were pleasantly surprised by the upgrade. (Well, my brother in law still preferred the ‘dirty water’.)

I sincerely appreciate the help of the forum members who post here and hope to assist others as I gain more experience! Thank you.

My question is; can you brew tea with alcohol? You know, add a bit of wine or rum? Is this appropriate to do? I am not looking to get drunk, only add to the relaxing nature of this ‘art’. Of course this would be an after hours tea.

Thanks in advance,

Chris McKinley
02-04-2001, 08:45 PM
Hey big fire-breathing behemoth :),

Never add alcohol during the actual brewing time of tea. It will interfere with the brewing process to an extent. It will also neutralize some of the antioxidants in tea, even after brewing. Generally, the delicate flavor notes of good tea are completely overpowered by alcohol, even in small quantities, which is part of the reason why the fermentation process of tea is so precisely controlled.

If you are going to add alcohol, make it a liqueur. The sugar in a liqueur will help to prevent the binding of the alcohol with the good stuff in the tea, chemically speaking. Overall though, I have to give the idea a strong thumbs-down. Tea, while relaxing to drink, is a mild stimulant. Alcohol is a depressant. When these two are combined, there is sometimes a multiplication of the effects of one or the other. You don't want to be either 'wired' or 'tranquilized' by the experience, after all.

Best advice? Keep em separate. Good tea doesn't need anything else. Good wine or beer doesn't either

Kung Lek
02-05-2001, 05:51 PM
As stated above, alcohol will counteract the desired aspects of the tea.

If you keep them seperate though, one can actually enhance the aspects of the other.

IE: if you drink your "nip" of alcohol and then follow that with tea, the effect of the alcohol will be quickened by the heat and dillution offered by the tea.

The two really are apples and oranges though, but I have heard of hot water and teas as vehicles for herbs and concoctions and have used them as such. the same would work with liquers or grain alcohols.


Kung Lek