Especially when you add a Friday night and awesome people into the mix!
Herbal Infusions is an adorable tea shop at Spadina and Adelaide that is actually sponsoring our second tea club round! (Tea reviews coming soon!) The owner Dan is fantastic at what he does, has a wealth of knowledge about tea and is incredibly sweet. Last week, Kayla and I were super stoked for a workshop focused around using syrups made from teas to form amazing cocktails.
The teas used in the workshop were all blends from Herbal Infusions including Orange Blossom Oolong, Lomi Lomi, Peppermint Dream and Toasted Almond. Dan had gone through process of boiling the teas down to create simple syrups that were going to be used in our cocktails.
Upon arrival, we were treated to a sweet orange blossom made with an orange blossom oolong. The fun part about the workshop was the integration of tea facts with cocktail info. Dan knows his tea like nobody’s business and Trevor was amazing with his cocktail knowledge.
We discussed the origins of oolong tea and the process by which it is created before getting the low down on how to create the drink. The orange blossom was made with 2 parts of the orange oolong simple syrup, 1 part lemon juice, 1 part vodka and topped with soda. It was the perfect drink for summer. The syrup added a great sweetness but wasn’t overly sweet and the citrus added a nice tang.
Next up was a foam made with Herbal Infusions Roasted Almond tea. I love the idea of using such delectable teas in such creative ways. The roasted almond tea on is delightful on its own or in latte form, so I imagine that the syrup would have been that much better. I wasn’t able to try this one since it was made with gelatine and dairy, but Kayla assured me that it was delicious!
The peppermint mojito was absolutely my fav and I definitely recreated this drink for this past weekend for quality girls’ cottage time (post on Wednesday!) Dan’s peppermint blend is second to none with an amazing mix of Washington peppermint and Egyptian lavender. While slightly untraditional, our mojito was shaken (rather than stirred) as it was made with the peppermint syrup, and the shaking helps to break everything down, dilute the cocktail slightly and mix everything together in the best possible way. It was made with 2 parts syrup, equal parts fresh lime juice and rum, and topped up with soda.
Kayla helped Trevor make the last drink, which was a lomi lomi pina colada. Trevor talked about his love of tiki culture and showed us his collection of awesome tiki cups. Kayla was a fab bartender (except when she had a bit of a spill with the coconut milk – we’ll blame the fact that we were on cocktail #4 at this point) The lomi lomi tea is a tropical blend that includes aloe and pineapple; I think it would make a stellar iced tea. The cocktail included 2 parts of the syrup, 1 part pineapple juice, 2 parts rum and 1 part coconut milk. And everything is better in a tiki cup
We were given our cups based on personality. I think mine looked a little angry for me…It was such a stellar evening! Thanks to Herbal Infusions and Tipicular Fixin’s for all the goodness. Dan plans to run more workshops like this in the future and at $15, you really can’t go wrong! We were able to purchase the syrups for $6 at the shop, and if you’re interested, connect with Dan on Facebook or Twitter to get some of your own to shake shake shake some delicious tea-inspired cocktails to celebrate the last few weeks of summer.
Do you use teas in any untraditional ways? What is your favourite summer drink?